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Part 18: Martial Law

The final scenario of the game opens with Lan on the internet.

A bit more literally than usual, this time.

MegaMan arrives shortly afterwards, wherever they are. It looks like ACDC Area, judging by the internet background.

At any rate, it seems that MegaMan has summoned Lan here for a specific purpose.

I'm sorry to leave you. But I must go... The years that we spent together are priceless to me, Lan...
Goodbye...? What do you mean!?
I'm glad to have been able to see you this one last time... Thank you, Lan.

MegaMan, wait! Why!? Wait...Hub!! Don't go!!


The screen fades to black as MegaMan runs away into the distance.

But then Lan awakens in his room, realizing it was all just a dream.

More pressing than that, however, is the fact that the army has been called in. To... deal with an attack from the internet?

I guess it makes sense considering that everything is hooked up to the internet, but this still feels dumb.

Lan laments being unable to grab Alpha from Bass in the last scenario, but MegaMan's like "Shit, man, we're just kids. Let's just go to school and hope the proper authorities handle it."

And so they do!

Music: Suspicious Mood

I hope you like this song, because it pretty much plays non-stop from now until the end of the game in every area that isn't Lan's house, online, or the final dungeon.

Around town are various Officials and these weird... beetle tank... things. They remind me of Digimon, for some reason.

Random NPC man would be excellent at CinemaSins.

The tram out of ACDC is also shut down to the public, unless you have an Official Pass. Yai, being rich, is very unhappy about her inability to screw the rules.

So, as it's going to turn out in a little bit, the school isn't actually open at this time. Unsurprising, given the circumstances, though I wonder why MegaMan didn't find out that little bit of information online.

Or, at least, intuit it.

The final Roll chip is handed over to Lan at this time. I'll be making good use of this for something later.

I can't imagine this is what Dex was expecting when he returned home, huh?

Wait, did they not inform the public? They just rolled tanks into town without saying anything?

As it turns out, the school is open, and Ms. Mari is with the children who presumably travel by the train to get to class.

Around this time, Lan gets an email from SciLab concerning a meeting that will be taking place regarding the WWW.

To make things succinct, the message tells MegaMan to meet ProtoMan in SciLab Square to get a Metroline boarding pass.

It seems like a lot of people are unimpressed with the general incompetence of law enforcement and the governing bodies in this universe. Can't say I blame them.

That's generally the gist of most conversations at this point, though visiting the Squares also has Official Navis mention that Navis should try to stay within them to avoid any viruses.

Though, this guy in Yoka Area will also start talking about the heat if you've defeated FlameMan's ghost data since his final form roams the Net here.

The Undernet is about the same, aside from Heel Navis being upset with Wily's actions.

Sadly, there are no interesting BBS posts around, compared to BN2. It's pretty much all stuff we've gone over long before this point, like Yoka's board mentioning the friendly Mettaurs I already captured.

Yoka is in much the same situation as ACDC, with the inn serving the same purpose as the school.

Old Man here seems to be in charge.

All of the animals have been sent home, aside from the panda, due to its sprite being shown inside of an enclosure instead of outside like all of the other animals.

And the condor, because the game tracks sidequests differently from the main plot.

Kimie seems to be handling the situation pretty well.

Tell him to come back before the military gets pissed, maybe?

You know, I have to be honest: I'm finding the incidental dialogue in this game less entertaining than the last one as a whole, but gin rummy family ignoring literally everything for the sake of this game is consistently one of the most entertaining gags.

Beach Street is about what you'd expect at this point in time.

There seems to be some varying consensus on how to handle the situation, though.

That being said, are people NOT already panicking?

Oho? That's an interesting bit of information. Shame he has nothing more to say about it!

These random audience members are right, though, there's too much concealment of information in this game. And not just from the public, but from the player as well.

It feels like the game has been having people avoid having conversations the whole game just to build up intrigue for a mystery that really should've been discussed by now.

Maybe going to SciLab will finally yield some information.

Well, that's not really a big surprise, is it? I mean, you haven't really told them anything.

...And then there's this genius move. Sure, let's fight Wily and his world-destroying virus with tanks that he designed. What could possibly go wrong!?

I don't think I need to say what the conflict of this section is about to be, right?

So, let's just cut to the chase. The meeting is being held in Dr. Hikari's office. There are people here from Netopia, too.

Seeing as this is a meeting about Alpha, it's finally time to learn what it is. And it only took, what, the entire game?

So, as it turns out, Alpha is actually the original form of the internet. Hence the reason it's named "Proto" in Japanese. As in "prototype", obviously.

This is the incident some of the older NPCs were mentioning above.

While the game isn't going to outright confirm who the AutoNavi is for a little while yet, this isn't subtle at all. Especially considering we already had someone from the Alpha Rebellion show up.

It's pretty clear "reacted strongly" is very big verbal downplaying of what actually happened.

That seems like a trustworthy amount of ellipsis.

I mean... I guess that's pretty bad. But we also had a scenario in the last game where a country almost got completely destroyed by an earthquake.

I guess the Alpha thing wins out if only because it actually happened rather than being stopped beforehand.

Lan, you dunce. He already implied that wasn't the case.

Hub expresses shock that the internet could become self-aware, which is a line that tickles me for reasons I'm not entirely sure of.

To make a long story short, Alpha assimilated everything within the SciLab network for about a week before it was stopped.

But a week was more than enough time to cause some serious damage.

I don't know why they didn't just isolate Alpha somewhere on a closed network, but whatever the case, Alpha now threatens to bring society to the brink of collapse if it's awakened again. Fun stuff.

Anyway, the takeaway of the story here is that SciLab is full of extremely intelligent idiots. But then again, so is the rest of the world.