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Part 13: Wither on the Vine

That's rather concerning, given the state he was in last time we saw him...

Lan and MegaMan wonder briefly if he backed out, but then decide that such a thing could never have happened after their promise.

The truth is actually much worse: Mamoru's condition has worsened and now the doctors have no choice but to operate on him.

Most ACDC NPCs have some variant dialogue of "Your friend is having surgery? Why are you standing here talking to me, then?"

That being said, I find it interesting that Lan tells Mayl about Mamoru, but not Yai.

Most NPCs are mentioning Mamoru had an attack or that there's a commotion by the hospital.

Lan at least managed to catch him before surgery, though.

Well, everything seems like it's going well. Mamoru's worked up the nerve and it doesn't seem like there should be any complications with the surgery.

oh for the love of

At the very least, Mamoru seems to be lucid enough to speak before the surgery begins.

It's not long before the nurse comes in to collect him for the procedure, though.

Lan's concerned for his friend, though, so he opts to go to the exterior of the ER Room to wait and see how things go.

The NPCs on the third floor try to soothe Lan's concerns or assure him that the doctor overseeing the procedure is very experienced.

And so the operation begins.

Three hours pass and Lan is still pacing around with nervous anticipation.

MegaMan sees that Lan's worrying himself ragged, so he suggests that Lan get some air. While Lan is initially hesitant, MegaMan assures him that they won't be gone long.

Even this nurse thinks it's a good idea.

So Lan gets into the elevator. Curiously, I'm not able to choose what floor I want to go to this time around. But I'm sure that's nothing to worry about.

The elevator stalls for a moment, but then resumes.

Lan then exits the elevator to see some remodelling has been done.

It's at this point, I find myself asking a question that the universe offers no answer for.

Why is there a TetraCode inside of this hospital?

At any rate, this doesn't bode very well for Lan's new bestie.

And a number of other people in the hospital, given the vines are preventing people from escaping.

Ah, Electopian female NPC. Always saying the most ridiculous thing at the most ridiculous time.

I'd expect nothing less at this point.

Back on the third floor, Lan finds that the operating room is still functioning, though that may not be the case for much longer with the encroaching vines.

The nurse suggests that some spiky-haired protagonist jack into the Tree of Life's mainframe, which is attached to that locked door over by the beachfront. Fortunately, the elevator can take Lan there.

Unfortunately, the elevator isn't working at the moment.

But it's okay, because there's an emergency exit staircase we can use to leave instead.

I'm starting to question this Hospital's safety regulations.

Well, nothing left to do but jack in.

Music: Save a Life

So the Hospital Comp. It has very nice music.

The gimmick I could do without, though.

Throughout MegaMan's path, a number of trees are blocking the way forward. Unfortunately, MegaMan is not a lumberjack, otherwise this problem could be solved with much less frustration.

Instead, this Mr. Prog reintroduces a very frustrating gimmick: another mandatory Navi Customizer program.

In order to proceed, MegaMan will need to give up one fire chips for every digiplant he destroys.

On the plus side, Oil Body, the fire counterpart of the Fish program, is available from a BMD in this area on the way to the above Mr. Prog, making it easy to encounter fire viruses. Unfortunately, viruses still have a tendency to not drop chips, even at S-Rank. I know I said this wouldn't be as much of a problem in this game, but I forgot that the method to alleviate this frustration is gated behind the late-game.

At any rate, MegaMan manages to reach the door lock.

But before he can deactivate it, he has to battle a Viney.

This enemy was mentioned on a previous BBS post in Beach Area as being invulnerable to damage unless you attack its vines, which will chase you around to strangle the life out of MegaMan. However, you can also just hit the Viney's body with a fire attack, which is much easier.

Why does this even exist in the first place?

For what reason would you ever want to lock off the emergency exits?!

At any rate, while the emergency exit is working, leaving on the first floor is impossible since it leads to the front of the elevator.

As such, Lan is stuck only being able to go to the second floor. How will Lan get out of this situation?

If your answer was "Doing something borderline suicidal", congratulations! You're beginning to understand this series.

Lan says that gravity is for wimps and dives out of the window.

Good thing Lan still has all of those radiation superpowers from the last game.

Yuichiro's PET Case also finally comes in handy.

The hospital staff is not having a very good day. Most NPCs are upset about the fact that their loved ones are trapped inside with no way to get out.

Aside from this kid to the left, who seems to be a kid from Lan's school given he knows him by name. He just wonders why Lan is wet.

Say what you will about Battle Network's goofiness, but the villains' attacks and the resulting reactions really do tend to sell the gravity and horror of the situation.

There's a brief interlude here where Lan has to convince a nurse in the lobby to give him the key.

We haven't been down here before (because we can't before this point), but I assure you that this isn't how it normally looks.

Lan starts to send MegaMan in to fix the problem.

But then the elevator activates! And out of it comes...


Naturally, in typical Battle Network villain fashion, she's not going to do anything to actually impede Lan besides giving him a stern scolding.

Also, she's still loony.

I mean, I have a response to this, but I don't think you're going to like the answer.

Anetta just casually drops the fact that she's working with Wily, and Lan realizes that Anetta is kind of an idiot and tries to tell her that Wily is just lying to her.

Unfortunately, Wily seems to have picked up some very good cult indoctrination techniques, because even Anetta's Navi, PlantMan, is buying it.

This whole exchange in one picture.

Anetta eventually decides to take off to look for the TetraCode some more while having PlantMan cause more ruckus inside of the machine. On to the second computer.

This area has a purple background, unlike all of the other parts of this dungeon. This is because it's a special part of the Hospital Comp, which I will be bringing up later.

In additional to trees, MegaMan now must contend with vines on the floor.

These conceal a number of things, such as free fire chips, healing panels, viruses, or nothing at all.

You don't have to clear out an area of digiplants to progress the plot, incidentally, but I removed them from every area just because I could. Had to grind for fire chips for a while, though...

PlantMan has found the TetraCode, which is in the operating room's program.

This is even dumber than it just being in the hospital.

MegaMan then calls out to PlantMan, prompting this exchange.

I know this is just his flowery, pun unintended, way of speaking, but this description really makes it sound like PlantMan is coming on to MegaMan. This is probably the highest compliment any of the antagonists ever give him in the series, aside from arguably Bass seeing MegaMan as a worthy opponent.

We also get some interesting characterization from PlantMan here that helps distinguish him from the enemies prior. FlashMan, BeastMan, BubbleMan, and DesertMan all basically took the chance to get rid of MegaMan as soon as the opportunity presented itself. Granted, the former two had already obtained their TetraCodes by that point.

However, PlantMan here seems to be trying to talk MegaMan out of fighting. Not out of fear, like BubbleMan, but because he seems to have something resembling respect for him, if those previous lines are any indication. I think this is meant to sell the idea that Anetta and PlantMan aren't necessarily bad people. Just... stupid.

When it becomes apparent that MegaMan won't back down, PlantMan sighs and resigns himself to having to fight.

Or, at least, having one of his minions fight.

It's one of those PoofBall viruses like from the Gospel attack on Den Square, though, so it's no big deal.

After the battle, MegaMan opts to head back to the operating room so they can catch up with PlantMan.

Fortunately, the elevator is still working, though there's no sign of Anetta in the hospital no matter which floor you check.

Lan, I understand your concern, but he's three hours into surgery.

Even if there wasn't an attack going on right now, I doubt he'd be in any condition to respond.

Things are at their direst at this point, at any case.

There's a control panel nearby the door that Lan can use to jack in to fix the problem. This leads to the last three areas of the Hospital Comp.

I also finally remembered to get a picture of what EnergyChange looks like in action. Pretty cool.

Eventually, MegaMan reaches the end and confronts PlantMan. As usual, the preceding cutscene will be shown in the video below.

Boss Fight: PlantMan

PlantMan is my absolute favorite Navi in the series. His design is neat, his mannerisms set him apart from preceding villains, and his abilities all have a nice flair to them.

So it really hurts me that he's probably the weakest boss in this game. Not only that, three versions of PlantMan show up in the anime (original, revived, and AU), and they're all killed in their debut episode unlike pretty much every other villain. Why!?

Much like FlashMan, though, PlantMan has an absolutely bonkers Mega Chip that's arguably even more broken than the former's!

- Rose Needle: PlantMan fires thorns at MegaMan.
- Plant Weed: PlantMan summons a vine that will follow MegaMan around, much like Vineys. If it connects, it will trap MegaMan, slowly draining HP from him.
- Yellow Flower: PlantMan summons this with Red Flower. It regularly spreads pollen in a + fashion, inducing paralysis, but does not deal damage.
- Red Flower: PlantMan summons this with Yellow Flower. It regularly spreads pollen in a + fashion, inducing confusion, but does not deal damage.
- Leaf Shield: PlantMan will set up a Leaf Shield, which will negate damage from the next attack and heal him by an amount equal to the damage dealt.

After the battle, PlantMan continues to talk.

It sure is a good thing that exploding isn't interfering with his conversational skills. Or obscuring his voice, for that matter.

Seeing as PlantMan is already sharing so much with MegaMan, he decides to share the name of Wily's aim this time: an entity named Alpha.

In Japanese, Alpha was named "Proto" instead. I'm sure you can imagine why they didn't keep that name in English.

PlantMan then explodes, having spoken his contractual exposition.

MegaMan muses on Alpha for a bit before going to repair the operating system.

It's at this point I find myself wondering why the surgical equipment is tied to th-

Aw, you know what I'm going to say. I'll probably say it a lot more over the course of this LP, too.

Unfortunately, there's one last wrinkle in this situation: the operating system is out of energy.

Why? Maybe the TetraCode was powering the OS? Maybe PlantMan's attack damaged the power supply? It's never really explained.

Seeing that Mamoru is possibly near death, MegaMan decides to do what he typically does in this situation: pull out a very specific ability that will never be used again!

MegaMan does a thing that is presumably dangerous to him.

But the system comes back on and he survives the experience.

The surgery then resumes and is concluded.

Honestly, I'd probably be this worried even if that nonsense with PlantMan hadn't happened. Six hours of surgery sounds terrifying to sit through.

Unfortunately, there's no telling how things have gone until Mamoru regains consciousness.

Lan decides to sit with him and wait.

And after more time has passed...

Mamoru awakens!

MegaMan has the presence of mind to have Lan hail a doctor.

Lan and MegaMan are ecstatic about the news, but quiet down as Mamoru starts to come to.

Apparently, Lan's voice reached Mamoru while he was in his unconscious state.

And so did Hub's! Somehow!

Lan says he doesn't need thanks, and only reminds Mamoru that they promised to Net Battle once he gets better, to which Mamoru agrees.

Lan and MegaMan then decide to go home for the day.

All's well that ends well.

Meanwhile, at the Hall of Doom...

You know, this is exactly how phone calls between me and my father go.

I see your despise (SP) of mankind has not changed. However, do you remember our little agreement? In exchange for giving you the power to terrorize humans... you will assist me in accomplishing my goal.

... ...

Hee hee hee! The time has almost arrived to implement Cybergeddon! I just thought you should know.

So you will awaken Alpha...

Yes, but first I must obtain the final TetraCode. I may need to employ your services in the near future. I will contact you again when the time comes.

The call then disconnects.

It won't matter anyway! destruction of the Net society is nearly at hand!