Blast from the Past: Tiger Electronics' Mega Man 2 Handheld Commercial

Lately, we've been checking out some old episodes of Video Power, complete with commercials. And among those commercials were some we had forgotten existed: Tiger Electronics handheld games. There were several different ones, most of which were made around a similar template, and one was for the Tiger handheld version of Mega Man 2, which we now present here for your viewing pleasure:

For those too young to remember, the Tiger Electronics handheld games would typically cost around $20 (perhaps more for special versions, such as the talking Snake's Revenge or the two-in-one Bo Jackson baseball/football combo) and were basically Game & Watch-like LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) games based on a number of licensed titles, including Ninja Gaiden, Simon's Quest, Shinobi, and both Mega Man 2 and Mega Man 3 (which we can't find a commercial for), among others.

Konami eventually got into it themselves, creating their own LCD handhelds, each based on a different property they owned or licensed.

As you can see in the commercial, the character design for Mega Man was something of an amalgamation of his box art and in-game self, wielding a handheld pistol instead of his signature Mega Buster. As the Mega Man 3 handheld followed that game's box art for inspiration, it featured Mega Man utilizing an arm cannon instead.

The Robot Masters, on the other hand? Your guess is as good as ours.

For more information on these two now-collectible antiquities, including better looks at the backgrounds and "sprite sheets" (if the term really applies here), check out these pages at The Mechanical Maniacs, as well as Joey's Mega Man Corner.

The Last Mega Man Commercial in North America

Protodude has managed to track down the last Mega Man commercial aired in the United States. Thankfully, it's not the "He's Called the Blue Bomber... Because He's Blue!" one.

Oh, Mom...

(Really, that reminds me a bit of growing up.)

The last shot is a bit interesting, though: two people playing Mega Man on a console? Given that one of the games advertised is Mega Man X Collection, perhaps they are playing Mega Man Battle & Chase. And are they using those hard-to-find (unreleased?) Mega Man X controllers?

Until the first half of the '00s, Mega Man television commercials have been pretty rare in North America, relegated to but a handful of titles. However, it seems that momentum was kept in Japan until more recently, when there was nothing left to advertise.

Hopefully, when the time comes, Capcom will open its wallet a little for Mega Man Legends 3. As we all know, that game is going to need all the help it can get.

A Video History of Mega Man Battle Network

As we noted yesterday, the Mega Man Battle Network series has reached the big one-oh. That's right, ten years of PETs, NetNavis, Battle Chips, Cross Fusion, Beast Outs, and more fun than should be allowed on the internet for kids under the age of 12. Today, we are following a little inspiration from Protodude's celebration of this occasion, and giving you a sort of "video history" of the Mega Man Battle Network series. Or rather, given the Japanese origin of the vast majority of these, "Battle Network Rockman.EXE."

First up, we have the television commercial for the very first game, which appeared on the Game Boy Advance:

Compared to what would come later, the style seems a little rougher, perhaps more manga-ish somehow, but it was still cool to see the characters animated at this point.

Only months later, the second game in the series would be released, introducing the highly-marketable Style Changes to the series:

This game brought several improvements over its predecessor, and became one of the most beloved installments. Similarly, the art featured in the commercial also seemed a little more polished and traditionally cel-like than the original. In addition, Mega Man Battle Network 2 began the tradition of the games typically being released in North America during the summer months, when school would be out and kids were left with lots of time to NetBattle.

Following the success of the first two games (and undoubtedly well in the works before the second was ever released), Capcom teamed up with ShoPro to deliver the first-ever Rockman anime to be released (sure, there was Upon a Star, but that wasn't released until later), Rockman.EXE:

(Strangely enough, we couldn't find a video with just the opening sequence, so here we have an entire episode attached.)

The show began airing on March 4th, 2002, and produced just over a year's worth of episodes, 56 in total. And while the characters were on-model (unlike some other versions) and the stories were often influenced by the events in the games, the anime would go on to forge its own path. And once the 56 episodes were finished, new series would continue the adventure until September 30th, 2006, as the series would end its run with a total of 209 episodes.

In addition, the series saw a relatively brief and heavily localized version of the show released elsewhere in the world under the title MegaMan NT Warrior:

(Again, couldn't find a stand-alone intro. Really, YouTube?)

The dub seems to have earned itself a fanbase, even including some who have never even played the games (the disparate branding probably didn't help), though fans of the original Japanese version have often been known to be... let's say, "unappreciative" of the localization efforts of Viz/ShoPro, which included numerous name changes, among other grievances.

For more on the anime, be sure to visit our affiliate, Rockman.EXE Online.

Just before the third game in the series would be released (well, one version, as far as Japan goes. More on that in a bit), the franchise took a bit of a departure as Capcom would release Mega Man Network Transmission for the Nintendo GameCube:

Borrowing elements of the anime, Network Transmission would distinguish itself from its Game Boy Advance progenitors by attempting to merge the characters and gameplay elements of the Battle Network series with the core gameplay mechanics of the classic Mega Man series. How well the two meshed would seem to be a matter of opinion.

In addition, Network Transmission would prove noteworthy for introducing the NetNavi version of Mega Man X series fan favorite Zero in a side-story set between the events of the first two Battle Network games.

Some would say that the Battle Network titles took more than a few cues from Nintendo and Game Freak blockbuster Pokémon, and one of the things Mega Man Battle Network 3 may be best known for is the reinforcement of that notion with the release of two different versions. In Japan, the original version was released on December 6th, 2002, and was followed by a special improved version called Rockman.EXE 3: Black on March 28th the following year. Both versions were released simultaneously elsewhere as Mega Man Battle Network 3: Blue and Mega Man Battle Network 3: White.

Another game, Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge/Rockman.EXE N1 Battle, came out in Japan on August 8th, 2003. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be a commercial for this one, or at least not one readily available.

Prior to the release of the fourth game, promotion began with the release of the second anime, Rockman.EXE Axess. Now, instead of obtaining different elemental powers, MegaMan could now obtain the powers of fallen foes through "Double Soul."

Following is the MegaMan NT Warrior Axess opening, which is mostly the same; it's a little sped up and features different music, however:

While the initial Rockman.EXE anime did have some differences from the games, Axess took it to a whole new level by allowing NetOps to perform "Cross Fusion" with their NetNavis, a henshin-styled process which combined the two entities into a new, more powerful form which could exist in the physical world, though this had to be done in certain areas created by special generators.

To hear the Japanese theme music, click here.

On December 14th, Japanese fans had not one, but two versions of Rockman.EXE 4 to choose from: Red Sun and Blue Moon, each containing unique (yet similar) stories, as well as unique Battle Chips and characters:

Apparently, people liked having two versions. Though many fans will say it is the worst of the series, it was nonetheless a bestseller, moving 1.35 million copies worldwide as of the end of 2008. This makes it part of a rather elite club among Mega Man titles, one of only four to move over one million.

Just as in the year before, the release of Mega Man Battle Network 5 would be foreshadowed by the release of a new season of the anime, Rockman.EXE Stream on October 2nd, 2004:

Despite the success seen by Battle Network 4, Capcom would return to a release schedule set months apart for Battle Network 5. Team ProtoMan was released in Japan on December 9th, 2004...

...whereas Team Colonel would be released on February 24th, 2005.

Both versions would be released simultaneously in other regions, and then again together in the two-in-one Nintendo DS release, Rockman.EXE 5: Twin Leaders/Mega Man Battle Network 5: Double Team DS:

On March 12th, 2005, Mega Man went to the movies for the first time ever in the animated feature Rockman.EXE Stream: The Program of Light and Dark, which featured the return of Dr. Regal and a Double Soul fusion of MegaMan.EXE and the extraordinarily powerful solo NetNavi, Bass.EXE:

On a personal level, I enjoy how this opening sequence of the movie combines the animation with still shots which don't look entirely unlike the style used in the commercial for the very first game, above.

It is also worth noting that The Program of Light and Dark was promoted and shown as part of a double-feature with a Duel Masters movie:

Though the promotions made it appear to be a crossover, the two films actually had little to do with one-another, besides being shown together.

The first day of October in 2005 would see Rockman.EXE Beast take to the airwaves, setting things up for the sixth and final entry in the Battle Network series:

rockman exe Beast opening - ดูคลิปทั้งหมด คลิกที่นี่

Each iteration of the Rockman.EXE anime had a tendency to introduce its own interesting elements to the series, and Beast was no different. In addition to allowing NetNavis to interact with their NetOps as small holograms, the anime exclusively featured Trill, a child NetNavi whose powers allowed MegaMan to "Beast Out."

Returning to what worked so well for Battle Network 4, Capcom would release < a href="" target="_new">Mega Man Battle Network 6's two versions, translated as "Cybeast Falzar" and "Cybeast Gregar," on the same date of November 23rd, 2005 in Japan:

Though it introduced the beast transformations for MegaMan and the Battle Network version (warning: spoilers) of Mega Man X fan-favorite character Iris, Battle Network 6 is perhaps best known for marking the end of the successful Capcom franchise, and providing closure for the characters fans had grown to enjoy over the years.

Though Battle Network 6 marked the end of the games, and Beast the end of the anime... well, things aren't quite as simple as that.

For starters, Rockman.EXE Beast ended early-- at least, compared to previous seasons. The last episode aired on April 1st, 2006, but this was no joke. The following week, on April 8th, Rockman.EXE Beast+ began, and was a scaled back version of the previous show. Episodes ran about ten minutes each, roughly half the normal running time, and it shared its timeslot with Saru Getchu (Ape Escape) as a part of the half-hour Oha Coliseum program:

Beast+ was marketed as a stand-alone series, but contained story arcs featuring the long-overdue appearance of Zero.EXE from Network Transmission, as well as the final boss of the cellphone game Rockman.EXE: Phantom of the Network.

Finally, on November 12th, 2009, past and future collided as MegaMan.EXE met the MegaMan of the far future from the Star Force semi-sequel series in Rockman.EXE: Operate Shooting Star:

(Edit: Apparently, this commercial we had here previously isn't the genuine article, but a fan creation by MidniteW. It's still nicely done, and can be found here.)

Unfortunately, as we would eventually learn, Operate Shooting Star would prove to be a bit lacking in content. For the most part, it was a straight Nintendo DS port of the first Battle Network, with a bonus multiplayer mini-game. The big team-up turned out to be a short story scenario near the end of the game, after which players could then use Star Force MegaMan.

The game did not do very well in Japan, and the last word from Capcom was that they were not planning to bring the title to the West, thus making it a bit of a sad swan song for the series.

One mustn't lose hope, however. At the very least, UDON has just released the Mega Man Battle Network Official Complete Works art book, and the Mega Man Star Force Official Complete Works art book is soon to follow. While that may not lead to more games in the near future, at the very least we know that interest in the series is still there, and as long as the fans remain interested, Capcom will probably give it another look.

Does Capcom Really Want You to Buy These Games?

Some of you might be too young to remember, but back in the early 90's, before the rise of the internet into mainstream prominence, gaming was... a bit different. For one thing, getting to see videos of new and upcoming titles before they came out was something of a rarity, usually reserved for special VHS tapes of footage played on a loop at video rental outlets (and maybe the occasional retail space as well-- anyone remember Babbage's?). And truth be told, they were often not nearly as smooth and polished as the game trailers which now surface on the internet almost daily.

One such reel of footage has been discovered, dusted off, and uploaded to YouTube by our good friend Protodude. It features Mega Man X2, Mega Man 7, and Mega Man X3, and boy, were they terrible.

Protodude notes that the footage likely comes from early builds of these games, which would explain the lack of music, glitches, and flicker evident in some parts of the video.

See for yourself:

Perhaps showing X dying on the first boss was a marketing strategy to spur the consumer on, to make them think "I can do better than that." Or maybe this player just stunk; we may never know.

On another note, the voiceover in the Mega Man 7 portion sounds a little like Dr. Light from the old Ruby Spears cartoon, doesn't it? With the way Capcom USA tried to cross-promote the two products, it would be of little surprise if this was deliberate.

Haven't Seen the Commercial for Rockman 6?

While it would seem that we've seen Japanese commercials for nearly every Rockman game under the sun, with each featuring original animation (if only the Mega Man titles received that same love), one* has remained conspicuous by its absence: Rockman 6. However, that would no longer seem to be the case, as only hours ago, YouTube member SuperMega233 found and posted the commercial some would have questioned the existence of:

Apparently, commercial compilations released by Capcom had omitted this entry for reasons unknown, thus leading to the question of whether one was ever made or not. Ironically, Mega Man 6 was one of the rare instances of the Western version of the series having such an ad, though that would have been thanks to Nintendo, who used the same commercial to advertise the top-loading NES and Zoda's Revenge: Startropics II.

Wouldn't it be nice if Capcom USA offered up some sort of compilation of Japanese, American, and perhaps even European Rockman/Mega Man commercials?

Source: Protodude's Rockman Corner

* Only counting console games. That aren't downloadable.

The Lost Commercial for Mega Man 10

If there is one thing that the original Mega Man games for the Nintendo Entertainment System did not get a lot of around these parts (i.e. North America), it is some televised commercial love. Sure, there was that secret agent ad for Mega Man 3, and Mega Man 6 was squeezed in alongside the top-loading NES console and Zoda's Revenge: Startropics II, but beyond that? Most of the love went to Japan. But apparently, Capcom and GameTrailers have seen fit to rectify the problem, and retroactively at that-- with a definite emphasis on "retro." Check out the following "lost" TV commercial for Mega Man 10:

Bonus points for the "end" of some television show, just like on so many VHS tapes of the day. "Mega Awesome," indeed.

JGonzo of Capcom adds "Yeah try to get that song out of your head now" and "You're welcome."

Source: Capcom Unity

TVC: The Revolution Will Be Televised - Plus, Launch Event and Pre-Order Info

Everyone likes toys, right? No? Well, if not, then perhaps this commercial for Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars will change your mind:

No, your eyes do not deceive you; that is an action figure of the legendary Digger MegaMan Volnutt kicking some Tekkaman and Gatchaman butt with the aid of Street Fighter icon Ryu. Capcom says:

Our ad agency had the idea to create this stop-motion short (a la Robot Chicken) to celebrate the zanyness of the game. Since it wasn't something that I recall any other video game publisher doing before, we jumped all over the idea. We tried to keep it as true to the heroes' characteristics as possible, so you'll see some signature moves in there. You can see the spot in HD glory on USA, SyFy, Adult Swim and more starting next Monday.

With any luck, this kind of promotion will be just what Capcom needs to make a mark on the Wii.

In related news, if you pre-order at GameStop, you'll be privy to a set of of eight lenticular trading cards, each sporting one Capcom and one Tatsunoko fighter. There are twelve in all to collect, plus one-hundred limited 3-D foil-stamped cards, each bearing exclusive Japanese artwork and a message from Producer Ryota Niitsuma, complete with an actual handwritten signature.

You can get a good look at the cards and Niitsuma signing them here at Capcom*Unity.

Finally, if the GameStop idea doesn't appeal to you, or if you just happen to be in the Times Square area, you can join in the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars launch party at the Nintendo World Store at Rockefeller Center from 11am to 3pm on Saturday, January 23rd. Capcom*Unity notes:

We'll obviously have a lot of TvC on display, plus exclusive give-aways (think posters, shirts, and our famous TvC towels), raffles, combo competitions, and if it's cold, maybe even some hot cocoa. I'll be there to staff the kissing booth (*note to health officials, there is no kissing booth), and producer Niitsuma-san will be on hand to autograph anything you can get in the door.

Capcom also says "cosplayers can cut in line, so if you've got one of these, it's time to bust it out of the closet." I don't know if they're serious about the line-cutting, though.

News Credit: Kombo, Kombo, and Kombo again

Rockman Live Stage Footage

Protodude has put up a very interesting video on his site today. It's an advertisement for an event called "Rockman Live Stage" that was put on in the fall of '98. Apparently, footage of the event itself hasn't been found yet at this point in time, but this commercial can at least give us an idea of what it looked like. In the video you can see the actors in charming suits of Mega Man, Roll, Dr. Light, Dr. Wily, X, and even Zero. There's also some footage of Rockman Battle & Chase playing in the background. But the number one reason you should watch this video is to see Mega Man, Roll, and Zero dance.

News Credit: Protodude's Rockman Corner

"The Secret Life of Mega Man" Post-Otakon Report

For the second year running, we are proud to announce that the second "OtaRockman" Mega Man panel at Otakon, held at 12:45pm on Saturday, July 18th, was a success. This was thanks in part to the Otakon staff moving us to a larger room than the workshop room we filled at the last minute in 2008-- and we still couldn't fit everyone in! We apologize to those who could not get in to see the show, and hopefully next year will see us hosting a panel with an even bigger room. "The Secret Life of Mega Man," as it was known, was a joint-production hosted by The Mega Man Network (myself and Tabby), Rockman.EXE Online (Ryouko), and (Terra), with some added assistance by Lady Red Draco of Mechadrake Assemblies, Maqqy of Maq's Hunter Hide-Out, PlaguedOne and Nobi from REO, and Hardcore Hecxz.

The panel consisted of showing several fan-favorite and lesser-known videos, both official and fanmade, as well as some Q&A. Mega Man fanfilm producer Eddie Lebron also passed along a note for those in attendance, stating that he had hoped to be there, but was hard at work editing the movie, and so couldn't make it.

We would also like to extend our thanks to our sponsors at Capcom and Udon, who provided us with a number of prizes for what seems to be our traditional raffle for prizes. Unfortunately, Udon's inclusion came at the last minute, and with their manga and Complete Works books still on the horizon, they had no actual Mega Man merchandise on-hand to offer. However, they very graciously gave us several copies of other manga they had on hand for us to raffle off to a number of lucky winners.

In addition, Seth Killian of Capcom*Unity gave us our grand prize: the rare, elusive, and valuable Mega Man 9 press kit, as seen above, which one more lucky winner got to take home.

There were also many other prizes of various Mega Man items, including the NT Warrior Battle boardgame, copies of vintage Mega Man NES games, a Japanese Rockman.EXE Battle Chip Challenge game (mint in box), stickers, MegaMan Legends games, handkerchiefs, a facial cloth, notebooks, a home-made Metool helmet, and more.

We should have some video available in time (which should be interesting, given how much of the panel itself was video), and we will keep you updated on that front as it comes. But for now, we hope to see you next year!

"What? Mega Man's Taken Over the Bomb?!"

Ah, now here's yet another blast from the past, one which I bet fewer Mega Man fans are familiar with. Many of us remember the Ruby-Spears Mega Man animated series which ran in syndication, went to Fox Family, then was released on DVD and then re-released on DVD again more recently. At the time of its original airing, however, there was an action figure line from Bandai of America, sitting alongside their other products of the day as The Tick and, of course, Power Rangers.

What some people may not know, however, is that like those other lines, the Mega Man action figure line had its own commercial. However, to the best of my knowledge, this one did not run on television; instead, it was shown before the animated episodes which were collected and released on VHS by Sony Wonder (and if you like the animated series' art style, it has some decent covers for collectors).

Recently, someone posted the commercial to GameTrailers, and it has now made their "Featured" list for the day. So here it is, with Dr. Wily narrating in all his non-Scott McNeil-powered glory:

The figures were cool, especially in lieu of any real alternatives at the time. It's a shame the second wave never made it into production, as Mega Man did have some neat custom armor in the cartoons that would have made for some neat figures.

My own collection of these remains rather poor, unfortunately; when they came out, I was "too old for toys," but too young to get a job while the toys were around. I did come by an incomplete and slightly-worn figure of Mega Man himself later, but with no Mega Buster. Nonetheless, the line was a good source for some Robot Masters who haven't seen other releases, such as Snake Man, Drill Man, and Bright Man. Perhaps someday I'll get around to hunting these down.

Bi~cycle, Bi~cycle... X Wants to Ride...

Protodude has dug up a fairly old and rather weird commercial for a group of PlayStation 2 games from Japan, one of which is Rockman X7. Regardless of your thoughts on the quality of the game, this remains interesting nonetheless: Each character is a mascot-style costume, and X's actually looks pretty neat. The whole thing has the feel of an old Japanese action show-- almost like Super Sentai, in a way, but not quite.

Also, X rides a bicycle. Check it out:

You have to admit, though: The music is kind of catchy.

Source: Protodude's Rockman Corner

Legendary Rockman (and Mega Man) Commercials

Since Heat Man decided to take us on a trip back in time with the commercials for the original Rockman games in Japan, I did want to say (as I often do whenever the opportunity affords itself) that there is a single Mega Man advertisement which I think did a very good, if not excellent job. Behold:

If only Mega Man Legends 2 had received the same treatment-- maybe more people would have checked it out. I think it definitely shows off the game itself well and in an exciting way, with a nice bit of hyperbole to get viewers excited.

And, even as a huge Mario fan, I still love "don't call a plumber!" to this day.

Of course, Japan has its fair share of commercials for their version, ranging from the bizarre... the cute/funny... hmm, now that's strange. I was sure that there was a commercial for Rockman DASH 2, but I can't seem to find it anywhere. Does anyone know where it might lurk, or am I just imagining it?