Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lost 3D Battle Network 5DS Revisited

Some years ago, the ever-talented Mega Rock made a profound discovery withing the guts of Mega Man Star Force. Picking apart the contents of the code, Mega Rock succeeded in decrypting and opening the 3D model files used by the game. He was shocked to discover remnants of a lost polygonal version of Battle Network 5: Double Team DS.

Mega Rock has since revisited his discovery; perfecting and fine-tuning the tools necessary to view the files. Today, he brings us our best look at the lost project yet.

Speculations aside, we still don't know exactly what purpose these assets served Capcom. The general consensus indicates the models belonged to an early version of Battle Network 5DS, one intended to be rendered entirely with 3D polygons. Still, what were these assets doing inside Mega Man Star Force to begin with? Just one of those unsolved mysteries, I guess. Oh, and speaking of 3D models, MegaRock has successfully assembled the project's unused overworld character models. Check 'em out below (click for animation):

The final game uses very little 3D models, most of which relegated to fleshing out touch screen menus. Interestingly, those models have a number of unused animations, seen here. A possible correlation to the contents in the above footage? Who knows.

So yeah, neat stuff. If the theory holds true, MMBN5 DS could've turned out to be something completely different. One day, maybe, a true 3D Battle Network will be realized. The demand for another Battle Network entry is certainly there -- just a matter of Capcom wanting to budge. Ball's in there court.


  1. So awesome. I hope he can rip the models for use some day. I'd be all over that.

    1. Actually, it is now possible to export bmds and nsbmds to .obj form with tools easily found online.

  2. I wish they hadn't canceled this.

  3. Dear Capcom Claus:

    For Christmas, I would like

    1) Mega Man Legends 3

    2) Mega Man X 9

    3) Mega Man Battle Network 7

    Tell the cyber elves I said hello.

  4. These models could probably be ripped from the game using 3D Ripper DX (, or a similar 3D model capturing tool.

    I told Mega Rock.exe about it once, but neither he nor I had the graphics card for it.

    We need someone to rip these models and the ones from Mega Man Network Transmission. I'd probably pay for them. :P

  5. To avoid ambiguity: these models aren't being viewed through specialized tools, this is an emulator (DeSmuME, IIRC) viewing the 3D models through some clever BN5DS camera hacking and file replacement. So, I don't think it's possible to actually use them outside a DS game yet.

    It's a smart solution to viewing the models. I wonder if the town itself can be loaded, too?

    1. Um, actually that video was showing console tool. Barubary made a tool a long time ago to unpack the contents of the star force bin files, including the model files. Also, I believe I may have successfully made a bin packing program that can compile a star force bin from files. I tested models.bin, cockpit_local.bin and motions.bin and unpacking/repacking those creates exact copies of the original bins.

  6. No christmas for me but I want those:

    Megaman Legends 3
    Megaman X9
    Megaman 11
    Megaman 6 (Rockman World 6)

  7. In the video, he's using a tool called The Console Tool.

  8. Rockman Rockman 2
    Rockman Irregular Hunter X 2

  9. The potential 3D overworld is intriguing, mainly because that was something even Star Force wasn't able to do later on.

    Alas, this wasn't meant to be. I'd speculate that there was simply too much going on at the time that EXE 5 DS was being developed. In two years, we had EXE 4, EXE 4.5, any other possible Japan-only games that I may have forgotten, EXE 5, and EXE 5 DS itself. And then they were probably already thinking about EXE 6 midway through EXE 5 DS' development.

    Absolutely no way that this could have been done in a year or less, especially if the game was to be fully 3D.

  10. Considering they were found in the Star Force rom, I estimate that they originally planned to make completely render Star Force with 3D polygons, and these were just made to test and see if the game would work like that, but halfway decided to go with the sprite designs we have now.

  11. I know these are, like, way unfinished models and stuff, but wow, Lan looks horrendous. :P

  12. I'd really like to see the town rendered properly but it's highly unlikely the importing trick would work since the map has no BCA0 file, evidently.
    The crude, incomplete models must have animations that also have to be seen!

  13. (Reads comments) You guys and your sequels. Except for Legends 3 and ZX3 (specially Legends 3) I'd prefer spin-offs.

    Mega Man Star Force is the sequel of the Battle Network series, and Mega Man ZX the sequel of Mega Man Zero 4.

    But MMBN6 has (sort of) 3 sequels: Battle Chip Stadium, Phantom of Network and Legend of Network.

  14. Lan is in a really bad hair day. XD

    Nice finds MegaRock!

  15. You want spinoffs? So spinoffs of spinoffs? How about spinoffs of spinoffs of spinoffs? No.

  16. "You want spinoffs? So spinoffs of spinoffs? How about spinoffs of spinoffs of spinoffs? No."

    I got dizzy with so many "spin"-offs! True that there are many spin-offs, MMX, MMZ, MMZX, MML, MMBN and MMSF all being spin-offs...
    ...of the original MM with some differences, but they don't need to be completely different to be spin-offs. The 7 MM (World) and MMX (Xtreme) Game Boy games are good examples of it.

  17. MMZX3. Make it happen, Capcom.

  18. Why would you rather have that than a sequel, if you say they're pretty much the same thing? A new game that's not that different.

  19. The 3D models of Lan and MegaMan are the same from Network Transmission and the bottom screen of Twin Leaders or they are new?


    What's the difference between sequels and spin-offs? Aren't both games? What matters is a good gameplay, music, story, and fun, like Mega Man X:
    (Roll < X5 Alia)

    Doesn't matter if it's a direct sequel, side-story, remake, or even unrelated to the main story like Rockman Online and Mega Man Universe.

  20. They're new models.

  21. Anyone who's actually played Transmission would see right away that those are NOT the same models at all. XD

    While I won't say Transmission had amazing models for Rock and Netto, they definitely were much nicer than these.

    Speaking of which.... *goes to start a new file for a 200HP MAX challenge*


Keep it friendly. Disparaging, belittling and derogatory comments are not permitted.