Jul 02

Weekly Update #411: MegaMan Battle Network

Yeeeaaaaahhhhhhhh, you might be thinking right now: “Wait, what…? MegaMan Battle Network!? Why??”

We’ll get to that in a sec, but first of all, let’s have a little progress update, shall we?

Jurassic June has come to a close and a new month has begun and, as you have undoubtedly noticed, I haven’t really posted any screenshots for GENBA no Kizuna‘s third chapter yet, nor is it available for testing to patrons, even though that was the goal for June.

Unfortunately, there is going to be a bit more of a delay. June has ultimately been a very… difficult month for both Natsu and myself.
While she had some other, rather time-consuming responsibilities to take care of, which slowed down her coding progress, and is currently suffering under an unforgiving heat wave draining all her energy, I’ve went through quite a bit of a rollercoaster in my private life, somewhat similar to what happened last year. It kind of really incapacitated me for a bit and made it difficult to find the drive to focus on VN development, but I’m slowly getting back to my feet and have made quite a bit of progress these past few days.

That said, it’s still very frustrating that we didn’t manage to hit our goal and for that, I want to apologize.

At the very least, Natsu has figured out a solution to the biggest hurdle, which revolved around the evidence presentation system, so she really only needs to code the rest of the chapter now. However, considering that we will also require some time to test everything ourselves, it will take a little longer still, until we can share the chapter 3 demo with our patrons. At this point, I’m also considering to throw in the second social phase which we originally put aside in order to have a better chance of finishing the demo within June.

I guess I’ll have some more specific news very soon. For now, I’ll just continue working on the chapter 4 script, while I wait for Natsu to get the rest of the third one playable.

In the meantime, patrons can at least check out a new illustration preview right here. Since it was so difficult for me to focus on the script, I ended up randomly drawing Himatsu in a swimsuit, so maybe that’s something some of you might like to see, haha.

Now, with all of that out of the way, let’s address the actual title of this blog post. As some of you might have seen, Capcom recently announced the MegaMan Battle Network Legacy Collection. “But why the hell is that relevant, Gospel?? HUH???“, you may wonder.
Well, believe it or not, this series had an enormous impact not only on me as a person and my life, but you also can find a lot of its influence in both SHINRAI and GENBA. In a sense, you could even say that without MMBN… these projects wouldn’t exist!

So, in celebration of the announcement of one of my favorite video game series coming to modern consoles, I thought it’d be a perfect time to actually talk about it a little and give you some examples as to how it played into our little murder mysteries.

Now, when I say that MegaMan Battle Network had an enormous impact on my life, I’m not exaggerating. This series is the very reason Natsu and I met and became friends in the first place. It literally all started back in 2004, with me sending her a private message to explain how style changes worked in Battle Network 3, haha.

MMBN isn’t just the reason I met my best friend and partner in crime, though. It’s also what seriously got me into writing.
I had enjoyed writing random and dumb little short stories before, but I loved MMBN so much that I turned into a rather prolific fanfic writer, cranking out two fanfics with a combined amount of 204 chapters, each somewhere between 5000 and 8000 words long.

For the first time in my life, I actually wrote a continued story with numerous characters, overarching plot lines, proper themes and my personal experiences woven into it all as well. This whole thing very quickly turned into a bit more than just a fanfic for me and, at some point, I kind of made it my own by introducing more and more original characters rather than relying on those from the games.

Towards the end of the second fanfic, right when I had hit chapter 137, Natsu and I were slowly starting to get into visual novels, however, and I wanted to work on something truly original, so that’s why I kinda stopped there. As a result, the story is unfinished and most of my original characters have never gotten a proper conclusion… which is why I have now introduced them into SHINRAI and GENBA, in order to finally finish their stories!

One such example is one of our police investigators in GENBA, Officer Himatsu Mizu. She first appeared in chapter 35 of my second MMBN fanfic and, from then on, started playing one of the biggest roles in the story, becoming one of Lan Hikari‘s closest partners.

Kagayaku and Kaleido, the two mysterious characters in the credits and one of the extra scenes in SHINRAI, also originate from that fanfic, where they took on the role of some of the major villains. This is also why the achievement for watching said scene is called “Secret Maneuvers”. It’s a reference to a MMBN2 BGM!

That’s not all, though. Even Raiko‘s dad, Dr. Yuuichirou Shinpuku, is based on Lan Hikari‘s dad, Dr. Yuuichirou Hikari, in both design and personality, and even when it comes to their occupations (Stella Lunaris, or SL for short, is a reference to the SciLab in MMBN). Heck, even Raiko herself carries a little bit of Lan inside of her (although she’s primarily a mix of Conan Edogawa and myself) and the back story about her and her deceased sister Reiko was, in part, inspired by Lan and his brother Hub.

(Raiko’s dad as he appears in GENBA no Kizuna’s DPA)
(Dr. Yuuichirou Hikari in MegaMan Battle Network)

You might have also realized by now that “Hikari” sounds somewhat familiar. It’s Runa‘s family name, after all! And yes, when I chose that name, MMBN was very much on my mind, haha.

Now, when we look at GENBA, outside of my fanfic characters, you can also find some more MMBN influences, such as in the design of the DPA, for instance, which was heavily inspired by the PErsonal Terminal (or PET) in MMBN3:

Most recently, I also couldn’t resist the temptation of throwing a little MMBN reference into the script when I wrote the following part:

It references the famous exchange between Lan and his NetNavi MegaMan.EXE before every boss fight:
Lan: “Battle routine, set!” – MegaMan: “Execute!!”

So yeah, as you can see, there’s a lot of MegaMan Battle Network that found its way into my current projects and, if it weren’t for this amazing little series, they probably wouldn’t exist at all. Because, if I had never met Natsu, I honestly don’t know if I’d gotten into visual novels. At the very least not murder mysteries.

That’s why I can confidently say that this series is, to a rather huge degree, responsible for who I am today and what I do.
Even my nickname originates from MMBN2 where the NetMafia Gospel poses the main threat and a gigantic bug beast that goes by the same name is the final boss, with quite a chaotic yet badass battle theme (which I have declared my own personal theme w).

(Kinda weird going back to the game now after picking that as my nickname, ahaha…)

Anyway, I could go on and on about MMBN‘s influences, but I guess you get the gist, so I’m gonna call it quits here now.

If you’ve never played it, I highly recommend checking it out once the Legacy Collection gets released. They have their flaws and quirks, but they’re genuinely fun little RPGs with lots of charm, great characters, a very unique and super addicting battle system, amazing music and even some rather dark and serious twists and turns occasionally. Not to mention, the whole setting and world are just absolute perfection! Seriously, if there was one IP I could buy to tell my own stories with…

Anyway, as always, I wish you to enjoy the rest of your weekend and, until next Saturday, take care :3