Thursday, September 9, 2010

Revisiting The Lost Battle Network 5DS

Some time ago, Mega Rock hacked apart the contents of the original Mega Man Star Force and succeeded in decrypting a number of graphic files; he was surprised to find the remains of polygonal models of Mega Man, Lan Hikari and a number of maps from Mega Man Battle Network 5. Turns out Mega Man Star Force was built on top of, what's largely assumed to be, a canned three-dimensional version of Battle Network 5: Double Team DS.

Years later, Mega Rock returns with another, more complete look at the lost game...

Pictured, a small portion of the 3D assets Mega Rock found buried away within Star Force's code. As you can see, they're incomplete -- mere remnants of a project we were never supposed to see:

Now, two years later, we have ourselves an even better idea of what could have been thanks to, once again, the efforts of Mega Rock (with the help of fellow coders). In the video below, Mega Rock details his successfully reconstruction of the 3D assets in their entirety, giving us the best look at the contents we may ever have:

It's astounding that all of this was simply hidden behind the many layers of code that made up Mega Man Star Force. It's quite the mystery, for sure: did these models really belong to a more ambitious version of Double Team, or are they simply materials used for testing purposes, not necessarily intended to comprise an actual game?

Mega Rock, in an attempt to shed some light on the project, went so far as to send an inquiry to Capcom US:

"Twas before my time at Capcom so I don't know the answer," says Capcom's Christen Svennson in response to Mega Rock. "There is something you are presuming: that it was ever actually in production just because of the existence of a few assets. This could have been just exploratory R&D/preproduction with no budget associated or greenlight happening (it wouldn't shock me if that were the case). And for whatever reason (maybe from what was learned during pre-pro) that it wasn't put into full production."

Despite the somewhat unsuccessful response, Mega Rock continues to explore assets, as evident from today's video.

Mega Rock is promising even more findings, hoping to show off some recently discovered animations shortly. You can stay up to date with his progress, among other interesting projects, at his official blog.

Even if we never know for sure the purpose of these assets, it's interesting to know that something like this was even produced; the world of Battle Network, rendered in polygons. It's a type of game many have longed for, I assure you. 2D sprites are nice and all, but I think many had originally hoped Capcom would have used the Nintendo DS for a game of this type as opposed to what we got with the Star Force series -- sprite based overworld, polygonal battles.

Would a fully 3D Battle Network/Star Force game be something you'd like to see down the line?


  1. Thanks for the feature.
    I am determined to find an answer to this no matter how long it takes.

  2. My jaw actually dropped, thats pretty cool. Certainly makes the internet parts more interesting with 3d puzzles/ areas.
    Maybe something they could keep in mind for 3DS game? One last send off

  3. I can't stand the Battle Network/Star Force series, and even I would have bought them in 3D! It would have breathed new life into either one of them in my opinion. It would have addressed my biggest complaint with the series, being that they all looked exactly the same. (FYI, this isn't biased hate, since I feel the same about ZX looking identical to Zero. Please don't flame!)

    Are those 3D maps straight from BN5, or are they just BN styled maps? I have played it, but I can't remember one games network from another.

  4. Great example of a fanbase remaining dedicated to a series in a positive way, eh?

    Don't know if we can reconstruct a game out of what's left, but what the hey, doesn't hurt to try, eh?

  5. That would've been pretty cool, maybe we'll something like that on the 3ds. But I wonder, isn't it possible they just used the models at some point to create the 2d/3d models we've always had in the games? I mean, the battle network games have always been 3d from a 3rd person view, just from a fixed angle.

  6. All the maps were exclusively designed for this project. There are some inaccuracies such as Megaman's design.

  7. Just makes me want another StarForce game even more.

  8. 3DS game 3DS game 3DS game 3DS game.

    Oh man, I'd crap my pants.

  9. It's fun to notice how they use somewhat similar style to the legends series.

    Now there's an idea for you guys.

  10. What's this Console Tools?

  11. If it is what I think it is, Console Tools is one of the many closely-guarded secret hacking tools on mega rock.exe's forum TREZ. Otherwise, somebody (Protodude!) shake down mega rock.exe for some more details, please!


    Can't figure out how to work it though.

  13. Thanks! That's a great tool! It seems to work better with Nintendo consoles like NDS.

  14. This is just great. This could be useful for Capcom for the next BN game!

  15. What really annoys me about Starforce is that they ended it when it finally got good. I mean, the first two games were meh, at best, but the third game was actually WAY better. It's a shame that it ended there, but perhaps it's better that it ended on a high note...

  16. Console Tools works on PlayStation games? I tried it on a few games but was only able to see the 3D models of the bosses from Sonic Rush Adventure.


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