Friday, February 6, 2009

The Tale of the Rockman.EXE Beta Version

You've seen the video and the pictures. And now, it's time to hear the "untold story" behind the Rockman.EXE beta version. Back in the heydays of U-Capcom, EXE series planners Masakazu Eguchi and Masahiro Yasuma let Japanese fans in on the EXE that never was. Courtesy of The Mega Man Network:

"Reading these comments from the fans, I somehow get a strangely nostalgic feeling. Because of that I’ll regale the inside story to days of the first Battle Network’s development and such.

When the game was being produced we created something like an experimental demo in the development’s early stages. Although we also made such a ROM for Battle Network too, when I think back the contents of it were pretty strange.

First, when the game started you were already in school for some reason. Yai and Dex were wandering about, and strangely Chaud was there, too. (Which reminds me, I believe Chaud was originally planned to attend the same school.) Once you talked to everyone, a sort of “Oh no, someone broke into the network!” event occurred.

So, when you jacked into the school blackboard, you’d be in the school cyber world. The viruses that appeared were nothing but Mettaurs. And when you reached the end of the cyber world…

Err, isn’t that WoodMan standing there? And when you talk to him, this sort of conversation would unfold.

WoodMan: Huhuhu, I see you made it.
MegaMan: Why are you doing this!?
WoodMan: I’ve come to steal the homework program!
MegaMan: I won’t let you do that! Let’s Net Battle!

What the… the one behind the incident is WoodMan! And moreover, this WoodMan is a totally evil character! And besides that, it’s a rather petty goal, no? In contrast to that WoodMan is MegaMan who stands in opposition with a strong sense of justice; certainly a lovable hero indeed. And, upon beating WoodMan, the game was over!

Incidentally, a screenshot of the battle with WoodMan from that time can be found on page 129 of the “Rockman EXE 3 Ultimate Capture SP” guide published by Shogakukan.

I’d like to try playing it after all this time, just to see what I’d think.


  1. Apparently, all of the mets share HP.

  2. Ha, that's neat. I wondered where I had seen the Woodman screenshot...

    I get a nostalgic feeling too. ;__;

  3. That mmbn mysteries section was cool. Weird that they changed so many random little graphical differences.

    Something about remembering when BN was new does hold a weird nostalgic factor. Seeing all those beta pics brought back the feeling. It's hard to explain. I miss those days.

  4. That screenshot in this blog entry got my curiosity. It looks like the series was gonna have a more complicated battle system. I mean what's up with that second bar at the bottom of the screen and the extra numbers under the custom bar.

  5. Where is the beta rom ? It would be nice to share with us. :)

  6. It was never publicly released to my knowledge...though I faintly remember someone mentioning they found it.

  7. @Kenichi: The mechanical maniacs link speculates the rockbuster was assigned to a chip (which explains that mysterious unused sprite that has appeared over and over) and that you were supposed to select two chips, one for the A button and one for the B button.

    Very very interesting stuff indeed. I would love to know all the things in the various EXE games that were dropped eventually. Makes me wish I was part of the development process... would've been so cool just to watch. :(

  8. I think we should consider a petition to Capcom: bring back .exe!

    I'd love a MMBN6 Double pack on DS, but this time with WFC capabilities.

  9. I wonder what the "bonus dungeon" would have been in the beta. I remember seeing that message in the game.
    MMBN1 is a very mysterious game. I wish a demo rom could be found one day.


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