The event was a pretty big deal back then as it celebrated the series tenth anniversary with a slew of activities and events geared towards children and families. Although similar Rockman expos were held thereafter, none ever matched the size of 97's whose totally head count ended up at a little over a thousand kids and adults.
I pulled out some of the more interesting tidbits about sites and activities from the article, below. Click here for the full read!
- One of the headline events was a Battle & Chase "grand prix" competition. Held at a specialty race corner, players competed in the final round of a nationwide B&C tournament that begin earlier that year at Tokyo Game Show. The winner of the race would go up against "Ando", the #1 B&C player among Capcom staff.
- A demo corner was on hand where visitors could play the latest builds of Rockman X4 and other then-upcoming titles. Right around the corner, a Rockman themed photo booth was present. Showgoers could develop their own business cards with commemorative stamps and stickers. Other activities included a favorite character poll, a quiz competition, a merchandise lottery, and a calisthenics session led by Rockman himself.
- Rockman series artist Hidek Ishikawa and Shinsuke Komaki spent three hours painting a massive mural to commemorate the event. The mural, and a oversized Rockman balloon, greeted visitors at the entrance.
- The event played host to live performances from a wide variety of artists involved in the franchise including Ganasia (RM8) and Capcom's in-house vocalists.
It's really unfortunate these type of Rockman themed events went the way of the dodo bird. Capcom continued to sponsor many Rockman-only expos for many years to come but with each passing year the number of attendees decreased. 2008's Summer of Rockman Festival marked the last of the Rockman expositions with no sign of them returning any time soon.
With the series 25th anniversary coming up, I think we're due for another. Maybe this time around things will be a bit more international friendly, inviting fans from across the world attend. One can only hope!