"Dr. Wily! What Does the Scouter Say About His Power Level?!"

As some of you may well know, the era of the original PlayStation saw numerous Rockman releases in Japan which never made their way Westward, and among those releases were the Rockman Complete Works titles. Each of the six games in the Complete Works series was a re-release of one of the classic NES games from the original Rockman series, each featuring a number of enhancements and bonus features, making them comparable to a special DVD release of a movie which originally came out on VHS. Of course, the Complete Works did eventually make their way into the hands of Blue Bomber fans in the United States and Canada through the multiplatform release of Mega Man Anniversary Collection in 2004. However, as those who have played the Japanese versions know, the games were all but completely stripped of the features found in the original PS1 titles, and as such, only a small number of fans have been able to behold what lies within.

One such feature utilized another Japanese-exclusive, Sony's PocketStation, a memory card device which acted much like the SEGA Dreamcast's VMU cards, among other things. Used in conjunction with the Rockman Complete Works titles, players could beef up their Blue Bomber on the go so that when he "returned" to the PlayStation game, his power would be increased considerably.

In a way, it is perhaps not unlike what Nintendo is currently promoting with the recent release of Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver versions. With the PocketStation program, named "Pocket Rock" (PokéRock?), players could give Rockman more health, increase his running speed, power up his buster, or if they were feeling merciful, increase the stats of the Robot Masters in the games so that they would put up more of a fight.

As noted earlier, the Japanese exclusivity has meant that few Mega Man fans in the West have been able to witness these feats personally. Fortunately, some recent uploads from RetroGameDepot and SuperMega233 allow us to see the PocketStation in action, as well as what a real "powered up" Rockman can do to his opposition in the Complete Works version of Rockman 5:

Wow. Wouldn't it be fun to wield that kind of power?

It is truly unfortunate that these bonuses, among others, did not make it into the Mega Man Anniversary Collection. Of course, how it would work with the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions is anyone's guess, but given how Nintendo boasted the connectivity of the Game Boy Advance to the GameCube, one would think they might have been able to implement it there, just as SEGA did with the Chao Gardens in the Sonic Adventure titles. And perhaps then the awkwardness of the control scheme would have at least been balanced out in part.

If Capcom ever decides to make another such collection, maybe they'll find a way to include the feature with the Nintendo DSi and PlayStation Portable (or whatever handhelds are available at the time).

For now, however, you can learn more about what was released through the Rockman 5 PocketStation FAQ and, if you can read Japanese, the website PocketStation Generation.

Source: Protodude's Rockman Corner