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Part 16: Rank Amateurs

Hey! It's been a while since I've done one of these, huh? Lots of real life things came up, so I've been a bit slow about updating.

Fortunately, I've found myself with a surplus of free time recently, so let's finish this up strong!

After a time skip, it seems that Lan's still been reeling quite a bit from aiding Mr. Match.

Mayl and Yai have been giving him space in the meanwhile, but it doesn't seem like the situation is getting better.

Naturally, they decide to go visit. And I mean, really, why haven't any adults talked to Lan at this point?

At the Hikari residence, Lan is doing his best impression of Geo Stelar from Star Force 1.

As he mopes, though, Mayl and Yai ring the doorbell. MegaMan convinces him to let them inside and so Lan does.

To the credit of Yai and Mayl, they opt to go for the sympathetic ear approach before cutting right to the heart of the matter.

Lan mentions, incidentally, that Haruka hasn't left Yuichiro's side since the accident. Which, I mean, makes sense and all but seriously why hasn't someone talked to Lan!?

Yai pushes a bit harder here than she probably should, but she's a kid and she's undoubtedly trying to get Lan to stop spending so much time alone brooding on the matter. It's a little obnoxious on her part, I suppose, but it's coming from a good place.

Unfortunately, Yai mentions the h-word.

Lan has the expected reaction.

Now this is VERY obnoxious on Yai's part. And kind of reminds me of Luna from Star Force, now that I think about it. Granted, Luna would admittedly at least have a portion of the story later where she has something of a heart-to-heart with Geo where she actually is less rude and more open with her feelings.

Yai just... never really follows up on this again.

Lan mopes some more about how he almost killed his father, which is an admittedly good reason to mope.

However, MegaMan decides to take the Rafiki approach and tells him that it's time to get over it and start doing something to make up for his mistakes.

We never really get Hub's feelings on how he feels about his own complicity in this situation, but I have to imagine this is his own way of dealing with it.

The doorbell rings, and MegaMan assumes that it must be Mayl or Yai again.

It's not.

Lan's still being a touch melodramatic about everything, but Chaud cuts right to the point since he has no idea what he's talking about.

There's a brief recap of Alpha and the TetraCodes.

Curiously, Chaud has no idea what Alpha is, that information being kept top secret. Considering that it seems to involve Bass somehow, I can imagine why.

At any rate, while Chaud has no idea what Alpha is, he is aware of a method to defeat Alpha.

Oh boy. This part of the game.

This conversation drags a bit after this point, so I'll wrap it up:

"I want you and MegaMan to go search the Undernet."
"Why don't you or the Officials do it?"
"Because we're too well known."
"But Chaud, I helped Mr. Match bomb SciLab. I'm evil. Eviiiil. Abloobloo."

Chaud tells Lan to shut up at this point because he's really saying way more than he should.

But I do like what happens after Lan's bit of moping.

It's a nice reversal of the situation from the DesertMan arc.

And yes, Chaud's actually Lan's friend from here until the end of the series instead of a petulant rival. Kind of like Blue's shift in character in the Pokemon series.

At any rate, we can immediately go and follow up with Lan's friends following that conversation with Chaud. Mayl is, of course, fairly understanding about what happened.

The same cannot be said about Yai.

At ACDC Elementary, Officials are roaming around now. Given that Chaud came specifically to tell Lan about Alpha and the TetraCodes, I wonder if she's here to examine the scene of the crime.

Ms. Mari, meanwhile, offers Lan some encouragement if you go to see her.

At least there's one adult figure trying to help Lan through this!

Yoka, meanwhile, is largely uninhabited, much like Kotobuki in the last game.

I do believe this is the last game in the series to have a widescale evacuation of a location.

Despite the evacuation, though, the inn is still going strong.

And some things never change...

There's also another quiz NPC behind the hot springs now.

Returning to Beach Street, gives us this nugget of information.

I think we should probably pay attention to that!

But everyone's too busy watching their Net Navi Power Rangers to do something about it, I guess.

Ah well. I guess having something to take their mind off of all of the terrorism doesn't hurt.

There's also this woman, who is waiting for a boutique sale to start and tries to bribe Lan into leaving her alone with another Spin Program.

The Officials are also investigating at the hospital as well, lending further credence to my theory that they're checking the sites of the TetraCodes.

That being said, there doesn't seem to be anyone at the zoo.

Seems like the hospital has fallen on even harder times ever since Match's attack.

But at least not all of the news is bad.

Next door from what used to be Mamoru's room, Yuichiro awaits.

And hey, that's a familiar face!

And he looks much less grumpy than in the last game!

As some of you (Mezzo) guessed, Wily was responsible for tempting Sean to the dark side. We never find out exactly which Navi was supposed to have scouted Sean for the Super Navi project, and with Network Transmission included, there's quite the list of potential candidates. If anyone was responsible, I would probably say StarMan.

This conversation seems like something that should've been had a long while back, but the gist of it is that Sean was approached by a Navi that Wily was operating or at least in leagues with. Given his state of mind after his parents died and his abusive relatives, Sean opted to go all in on the "Kill everyone and possibly even myself" plan and created Bass.

Of course, the Bass that he made wasn't perfect, so Wily decided to go after the real deal for whatever reason.

At any rate, Lan happens to overhear at least part of this before coming in to greet Sean.

Sean then leaves.

I'm not sure why. It's not like Lan hasn't already been fighting with Wily, and he was the one who knew Sean's deal before anyone else. Why the secrecy?

This whole conversation is probably one of the most blatant examples of "Allow me to tell you something you already know." in the series. I get people might've skipped the first two games, but come on.

It's not said, but I wouldn't be surprised if Chaud knew full well that Sean would be here and intentionally sent Lan this way to provoke some thought on his part.

Either way, Lan decides to come clean and tells his father about his involvement with Match in the last arc.

Yuichiro points out that Lan messed up, but that he can make up for his mistakes rather than just dwelling on them forever.

And so ends the angst-ridden preteen portion of the story.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, no, Lan does not tell anyone about the fact that Bass is roaming around again. Even though that was something they were explicitly trying to prevent in Battle Network 2. Seems like an important detail to gloss over, but okay.

At this point in time, a new sidequest is now available: the Virus Breeder!

Chaud happens to be in the same location as it, too, just in case you want to start off the sidequest immediately.

For the sake of expediency, I'll summarize this quest thusly: SciLab has developed a new machine that is designed to study viruses and use them for beneficial purposes.

There's some justification about not all virus types being compatible and only rare viruses releasing data that's usable, or something along those lines, but the gist of it is that the viruses you're looking for will be set in specific spots around the Net like V2/Alpha Navis. The one exception would be the Bunny viruses, which are instead obtained from a BBS quest.

If you care to see what the quest looks like, here's a video of me Virus Hunting.

Once you capture a virus, it will be sent to the Virus Breeder. This has multiple effects:

- Once a virus is captured, you get a Chip that summons your captured viruses. It then spins through them like a roulette, stopping on the weakest virus after a certain amount of time if you don't stop it yourself.
- Viruses that have been captured can be fed Bug Frags to increase their damage. The easiest way to buff the damage of this chip is to feed Bug Frags to the weakest virus of each family and use the above roulette effect. Of course, you could always just feed the strongest if you're good at roulette timing.
- After you finish feeding a virus family (feeding only the basic Mettaur will still count as maxing out all of the Mettaurs, as a note, and so on for each other virus), they will tell you where to find an Omega version of their family.
- Defeating the Omega version adds it to the roulette roster and the Virus Breeder. Additionally, you can redistribute Bug Frags fed to whichever Virus you want at any time in order to adjust damage rates of the battle chip.

Viruses that you can acquire for this are: Mettaur, Bunny, Spikey, Jelly, Momogra, Killer Eye, Mushy, and Swordy. The Scuttle series can also be picked up in the postgame, having six members across three battles instead of the four members across two battles of each of the previous species.

It's a charming Pokémon-esque kind of thing, and I like it.

Before we talk to Chaud, I'll head to Yoka Area to check on more BBS updates. I have to make sure I see all of that exclusive dialogue after all. Even if it's a pain to format.

While not here yet, this Navi alludes to the fact that this is FlameMan Beta's haunting ground once you get him unlocked. I don't remember what viruses he unlocks for this area when he arrives, though, and Google search isn't turning up anything. I'll have to remember to look into that.

There's also this Mr. Prog, who gives you the second and last Exp Memory for the Navi Customizer, increasing it to its maximum size when you finish his quest to beat up some gang members.


Yoka: Chat BBS

|Poteno |Oh, come on! |What's the deal?! I tried my hand a bunch of times at|
| | |a Chip Trader, but every single time I got a |
| | |"Spreader *"! Who's responsible for this?! I lost |
| | |some good chips! |
|Nukky |You bad girl!|It doesn't matter what chips you put in, Poteno. It's|
| | |all random! I got a "Recov150" for 3 "Cannon" chips. |
|Poteno |RE:You bad gi|Arrrgh! Somebody's going to pay! |
|Poteno |Hah! |Tee-hee! Look at my shiny "Snctuary"! I had enough |
| | |with regular Chip Traders so I tried out the special |
| | |Chip Trader at the Seaside Hospital, and got this! |
| | |What've you got to say about that, Nukky? |
| | |Unfortunately I had to put up ten chips to use that |
| | |trader. All I have left now are the chips in my |
| | |folder! |
|Higsby |I know that! |I see Poteno used my Chip Trader Special, huh! You |
| | |have to insert a lot of chips, but it often gives out|
| | |rare chips in return! |
|Cartan |Wow |So that's what makes the Chip Trader Special so |
| | |special! When I first heard it needed ten chips, I |
| | |said forget that, but after hearing about that rare |
| | |chip Poteno got, I want to try it out! I'll unload |
| | |all these "Guard" chips! |
|Koetsu |Go easy |Slow down, guys. Don't get too carried away with |
| | |these Chip Traders! There's no gurantee you'll get |
| | |good chips. As teh saying goes, "everything in |
| | |moderation"! |

Yep, more dialogue about the dangers of Chip Traders. Kinda weird this dialogue comes so late after this would likely be known to the player. This is the scenario before the endgame, after all.

I suppose Lan is supposed to be famous, but the games never portray that very well. Most NPCs never know who he is upon meeting him unless they're a villain.



|Junko |Trade chips? |You know how people sometimes ask you to trade chips?|
| | |I've been asked twice, but both times I didn't have |
| | |the chip they needed. It's awful feeling turning them|
| | |down, you know? |
|Arima |Quizzes |I know exactly what you're talking about. In fact, the|
| | |other day I was asked to take a quiz by someone. It |
| | |was quite embarrassing I couldn't answer the first |
| | |problem! |
|NO NAME |The Undernet |I'm just an old lay who loves to gab, but have you |
| | |heard? There's going to be a secret tournament in the|
| | |UnderNet. You can bet it'll be dangerous! Forgive my |
| | |anonymity, but I don't want to wind up like that guy |
| | |in Beach Square! |
|Axel |RE:The Undern|Really? It sounds like an Under-N1 Grand Prix! The |
| | |Undernet guys are supposedly way stronger that the |
| | |normal Battlers, so this should be some competition! |
|NO NAME |NO SUBJECT |...Yet another fool speak of the Undernet... So be |
| | |it. This will be overlooked. Know there are many |
| | |warriors in the Undernet with unfathomable powers, |
| | |including You-Know-Who. Tread lightly. |

Normies. When will they learn?


ACDC: Battle BBS

|Tessan |LavaPanels |I hear something bad went down at SciLab. You know |
| | |how there are lots of scary viruses like Spikey and |
| | |Volcano? Those buggers can walk on lava and not break|
| | |a sweat! I wonder Fire Navis can stroll across lava |
| | |like that? If so, chips like LavaStge can come in |
| | |handy! I have a setLava, program, but I can't use it |
| | |because it's the wrong color. Does anyone know its |
| | |ModCode? |
|Axel |ModCodes! |What's a ModCode? Does it have to do with the Navi |
| | |Customizer? |
|Kakky |RE:ModCodes? |A ModCode bypasses the error that occurs when you |
| | |insert a program with an incompatible coloe. But you |
| | |need to buy a ModTool. If you have one, just press |
| | |the Select Button when the error occurs, amd enter |
| | |the Code. I saw the ModCode for SetLava on SciLab |
| | |Battle Board. You should try looking there. |

There's an update to the Beach BBS as well, but there's not really a lot interesting to talk about there. The most interesting tidbit is a hint to the warp in the Hades Isle Gargoyle that leads to your first Giga Chip.

So that's enough BBSing for now. Let's get back to the plot. I feel like we've been here for months.

Chaud starts off by mentioning that this is an extremely dangerous mission, and Lan might even lose MegaMan.

Yeah, that's no different from usual, really.

And so, we come to the crux of why Chaud summoned Lan here. There's a system in the Undernet called "The Ranking". In order to get information about the Forbidden Program, which is in the possession of the Navi "S", MegaMan will need to infiltrate The Ranking and become high enough to warrant an audience.

To aid with his infiltration, he'll get the program that makes MegaMan appear like a bad guy to Heel Navis... even though it doesn't actually change his appearance on the overworld. And even though he could've used this to change ProtoMan's appearance, right?

And yes, this is ANOTHER Navi Customizer program that serves a gimmicky purpose and requires you to change your loadout! Keep in mind that you ALSO need to use Press to get to the Undernet!

Before we head to the Undernet, though, you may recall this guy in Beach Area who was lamenting needing to play a bad guy role but having no idea how to do it. Now that we have the Black Mind program...

MegaMan can offer to roleplay as a bad guy for him!

Look how enthusiastic he is!

Your reward for this is another one of those Team chips I've never used: Team2.

Now that we have Black Mind, MegaMan can FINALLY reach the Under Square in Undernet 3.


Poor Mr. Prog isn't very good at being incognito.

Then again, neither is this guy...

Incidentally, everyone gets really tight-lipped if you unequip Black Mind while you're here, though the Net and Program Dealers will still sell to you.


/v/ Under Square: Chat BBS

|NO NAME |UnderBoard |This BBS is for you punks to write info that we all |
| | |can use. The Undernet's a lawless jungle where |
| | |anything can happen, so the more info we all have, |
| | |the better, got it? Like life, it's give an' take. |
| | |Oh, yeah, anonymity is probably best. |
|NO NAME |Secret chips |Word is there's a chip that summons up DarkDwellers. |
| | |It won't work unless you're at a Dark Hole leading to|
| | |Murkland. Wonder what kinda baddies live there? |
|NO NAME |Dominerd |I was attacked by Dominerd. What is that thing? It |
| | |protects other viruses. Maybe it's one of those |
| | |mutating viruses. |
|NO NAME |An amoeba? |Mutation? Reminds me of them Fishy2. Speaking of |
| | |viruses, I sometimes see some that look like amoebas.|
| | |They fly at ya and suck your HP before ya know what |
| | |hit ya! Where are those suckers coming from, anyway? |
|NO NAME |RE:An amoeba?|This stinks of the WWW. That Wily's been involved |
| | |with Bass. He won't let anyone get too nosy down |
| | |here, though. |

Hmm... I feel like we've seen a virus like that before, haven't we?

Anyway, this guy here gives us a lead on what we need to do next.

Sounds easy enough.

And vaguely ominous! But I'm surely nothing bad will happen.


After the cutscene, Undernet 1 - 3 now have Heel Navis standing around waiting to challenge you.

All of these Navis use Omega viruses, and these guys in particular challenge you to four back to back fights.

Nothing particularly interesting happens during the course of this whole thing.

Aside from MegaMan being able to scare this postman who has nothing to do with The Ranking while he has the Black Mind on.

So let's just skip ahead to the end!

Mighty victor of the reckless ten... You have earned the right to challenge a ranked Navi. The Navi ranked #10 may be found "where the evil fall".
Where the evil fall?
If you can defeat that Navi, you will be ranked #10.

Stop being so smug just because you know the answer, Lan.

At any rate, the game expects you to figure out the answer, so I hope you can guess it from the locations we've visited prior to this point.

Chaud and ProtoMan will do almost nothing for the rest of this scenario.

At any rate, let's go find Rank #10!

To the surprise of no one, "where the evil fall" is Hell. Granted, the localized name is Hades Island, but you could probably still work that out.

Also, Great Battlers is back.

The now unranked Navi warns MegaMan that looking for S could possibly cause him to get killed.

He also gives MegaMan some very ominous advice before departing.

Unfortunately, MegaMan forgot to ask him where the next ranked Navi was before he went.


But it's okay because Roll is in danger aga- ARE YOU SERIOUS?! Again with this!?

Dammit, Mayl, it's one thing to get in danger, but to actively start expecting Lan to fix it...

And you don't even have the decency to be here when you're expecting a favor?!

Huh, she's not at home either.

Yai isn't with her, either! Though, she is talking about the Undernet again like in the first game.

After MegaMan reaches the second area of the Zoo Comp, a cutscene starts.

I love how after the former Rank #10 told MegaMan to keep to himself to avoid having people come after him, he immediately falls into a trap set by people coming after him.

And the Navis we beat actually have WEAKER viruses than the first time!

At any rate, the Navis run off in terror, never to return again.

It's at this point the former Rank #10 sends an email after remembering he forgot to tell you about the next Navi's location.

What a swell guy. Lan is at least wary of the possibility that it's a trap, though.

Mayl is also back in her house now and complains about Lan failing for poor bait.

Rank #9 is within the Hospital Comp that was a part of PlantMan's dungeon, but only the specific section that can be reached from Beach Area's internet.

Good thing we got the code to the Security Cube earlier in the story and can meet him now!

After that... experience, the now Rank #10 directs MegaMan to Rendu 3, which is just "Under" backwards.

So back to the Undernet!

Stay mad.

Rank #8 can be found where we fought FlameMan. However, there's something rather strange about this opponent...

Oh, that's why. It's a mandatory V3/Beta fight with one of the most annoying Navis in the game!

Which is then followed by this chucklefuck trying to kill you with Omega viruses!

Needless to say, beating them both without taking damage was very cathartic after the frustration they caused me in my childhood.

After a musing of how you can't let your guard down in the Undernet, Lan and MegaMan head after Rank #7.

If the hint wasn't obvious enough, he's in FlashMan's dungeon. Let's see what he wants.

After his fetchquest, the new Rank #8 can't seem to recall where Rank #6 is hiding. He snaps at MegaMan and leaves after MegaMan complains. And unlike the former #10, he will not be calling back with additional information down the line.

What an ass.

Chaud forwards a message to Lan at this time, though, revealing that Lan and MegaMan have apparently been called out on the BBS.

I've heard of you. I'm ranked #3. If you want a piece of me, I'm at the bottom of slope in Undernet 4. I'll be waiting, #7.

MegaMan is, of course, worried about the fact that someone ranked that high is taking an interest in them, but they have no choice but to go forward with their investigation.

And so, they head to the meeting spot of Rank #3...

If there's one thing I love about Battle Network 3, it's the pay-off with GutsMan. From the outset of the game, it's made clear that Dex wants to catch up to Lan. You see him using the Navi Customizer, doing endurance tests, and doing everything he can to level the playing field. And it all pays off here with a boss fight that... admittedly is still pretty easy, but at least shows a significantly upgraded GutsMan!

But we'll talk more about what makes GutsMan Beta special later. After all this is technically CopyMan at the moment. And speaking of which, he gets his wish: we never see him in the series again!


But let's not get distracted by how nice it is that everyone is back (and Yai is no longer being a brat). We've got to deal with Rank #2!

However, in an odd choice, Rank #2 is a bit different from the other Navis up to this point. And after, for that matter. For, you see, depending on your version, you will face a different Navi! Both are fan created as well, much like GateMan.

We'll be covering Blue first, seeing as that's the version I've been playing up to now.

Boss Fight: BowlMan


BowlMan is arguably the more difficult of the two since he's more offense oriented, which can be a little overwhelming if you don't know how to deal with his onslaught of attacks. That being said, he's not too bad to take down given his lack of any kinds of special statuses. Really, you just need to be quick about dodging or just use Invis.

- Gatling Pin: BowlMan fires a massive volley of bowling pins down the field at MegaMan. Should MegaMan hit a pin with an attack it’ll will aim to fall onto his current panel for damage.
- Bowling Bomber: Bowlman rolls a bowling ball down one row.
- Tower Bowl: Three bowling pins rise out of MegaMan’s area, upon which Bowlman will roll a bowling ball down one row into them, knocking them around MegaMan’s field.

After the battle, BowlMan finally reveals the name of the mysterious Volde- er, "S" that we've been following this whole time.

BowlMan hands Rank #2 to MegaMan. I assume he is now Rank #3, and have been referring to all previous Navis as if they are bumped down one rank, but MegaMan keeps all of his previous ranks in his Key Item inventory so who knows.

And here is your hint for where to find the server room. Tells you basically nothing, huh?

Let's see if White Version makes things clearer...

Boss Fight: MistMan

MistMan feels a bit more defensive to me than BowlMan, mainly because his actual Navi body is not damageable and pops up in front of his lamp, which is what you actually need to hit in order to hurt him. He also uses some attacks to hold you in place or limit your movement. All in all, the main trouble you might have with him is working down his HP fast enough to get a good rank.

- Mist Tackle: When the lamp lines up with MegaMan, MistMan appears and dashes towards him. MistMan can be dispelled with a hard-hitting attack.
- Poison Mist: The lamp summons mist onto MegaMan's panels, which can drain away his HP if he stands in them. Also, MistMan can appear from the mist to attack MegaMan if the mist is in front of or behind him.
- Soul Gang: MistMan summons two ghosts which will slowly track MegaMan's position. If they come into contact with him, they will hold him in place and drain his HP.

I kind of like MistMan's aesthetic more than BowlMan's, honestly.

He also has a more elegant and regal way of speaking, barring one line before his battle that's shared with BowlMan where he calls MegaMan a punk.

Unfortunately, he has no greater amount of information for Lan and MegaMan than BowlMan did.

After the battle, MistMan and BowlMan are available as friendly Navis for MegaMan to rematch. They're still in their base forms, though.

Less pleasant, though, is the fact that Great Battlers played for the last time in the Rank #2 battle.

So, let's break down this hint. We need to go somewhere there's a boulder.

Unfortunately, going off of that, our hint is too vague.

Hades Isle, a rocky, mountainous area, is not the answer, either. So how then can we figure this out?

Well, you could just look up the answer on GameFAQs. Or we can work through this through a hint I left you back when I did the Battle Network 1 Let's Play.

We are looking for a way into the Undernet server. But the Undernet is the dub name for the area.

While in English, the name "Undernet" implied a Net that was underneath the surface area, dialogue that is supported by the Heel Navis, in Japanese had a different name with the meaning "Reverse/Backwards Internet". No doubt due to the fact that it operated under different rules than the mainstream Internet.

But that's just the meaning of the Japanese name. The name itself? The name that contains the answer we're looking for?

Go ahead and check Update #11 if you care to find the answer yourself. When you're ready, scroll down.

Here it is. The Ura Internet Server.