NeoWiz Officially Announces Rockman Online's Cancellation

rmobanner According to Ruliweb, South Korean developer NeoWiz has quietly but officially announced what we all suspected anyway. According to the article, Rockman Online was officially ceased back in November of last year. The decision comes following consultation with Capcom of Japan, not to mention NeoWiz's own massive restructuring.

Curiously, this marks the one year anniversary since the Rockman Online homepage last updated.

News Credit: NeoGAF (via Protodude's Rockman Corner)

Looking Back at Rockman Online - A Lament for Cool

I still don't feel comfortable saying that Rockman Online is officially canned, but last night's surprise news definitely made some closure for what fans had been suspecting for a few months now. And I am disappointed to hear about it, personally. Not that I was a huge fan of Online per se; there was no sign at all the game would have made it to the West (and little sign it would have even hit Japan). It was also an unusual concept for a Mega Man game. And I'll be frank - I hate playing scrolling action games, especially platformers, with a computer keyboard.

But I am still disappointed, and it's because Rockman Online was freakin' cool.

I mean just watch that video. Does it not get you pumped? There's no gameplay footage to speak of, and if you're not a Mega Man fan it may not make any sense to you. Heck, even if you are a fan it still doesn't make much sense. But damned if it isn't cool. You get this slow build up, then a feeling that something major is going down, and gradually more and more familiar characters start to appear. You may not know what's going on, but you know that it's cool.

Let's watch some more cool videos.

Man, this video is even cooler! It's pretty much non stop action and excitement once it gets going. And again, if you're a Mega Man fanboy you're going nuts. The characters just keep coming. Woah, Scarface from that Command Mission game? And then there's like a Battle Network-styled Air Man? And he's fighting X!? I don't know what's happening but it's awesome!

Here's a trailer of the actual gameplay. All kinds of enemies from Mega Man, Mega Man X, and Mega Man Zero coming together. The Mega Man Killers are there. Zero freakin' threw Sting Chameleon into a tree (yeah it's a quick time event, but still). The gameplay itself looks a little janky. Especially when you watch the extended gameplay demo from GStar last year, the game has sort of a rough feeling about it. Of course, it was still deep in development at the time, so who's to say?

The truth is, Rockman Online didn't really need to be a perfect game. It was so full of cool content that the rich world it painted would have likely been good enough to satisfy. You could tell the people working on it really loved Mega Man, and they made sure to use as much material as possible. And isn't that what we all want?

I'm going to make a pretty bold claim. Mega Man hasn't been that cool lately. An easy game to point to is one like Powered Up, with its cutesy graphics and carnival-like music. I'm not ragging on Powered Up here, and it's not like I'm embarrassed to play the game, but I wouldn't be surprised if some are. And honestly, its sugar sweet veneer doesn't make the game any better.

Let's step it up. How about Mega Man 9 and 10? Are those games especially cool? I wouldn't say they're uncool, but they're also constantly screaming "Hey man! It's like you're playing a game from the 1980s! Far out, dude!" It's charming, but is it really necessary for Mega Man now?

Don't get me wrong, I am a gigantic Mega Man-loving nerd. If Capcom announced a brand new Battle Network game, I would soil myself with glee (and hopefully have the presence of mind not to mention it). But look at the past decade of Mega Man games. They've nearly all been starred by children, or at least characters who look like children (even the ultra cool Zero became a malnourished kid in an open vest and thong). And in great, memorable works of fiction, children aren't often that cool.

Rockman Online is like a Mega Man game that grew up. It was saying "You're a big guy now, and you can handle a game with tons of content." It took many great things from each series and mashed it all together in an epic explosion of excitement. It wasn't too hung up on a specific style or gimmicks. It was just pure Mega Man awesomeness.

And I loved that about it.

Rockman Online is Likely Cancelled, According to Artist (Updated)

Well, unfortunate news tonight, though probably news a lot of you were expecting. After concerns about the fate of Rockman Online after NeoWiz announced internal restructuring, the game's environments artist Kang Dong Hwa, aka Cantio75, has admitted that the project he was on was dropped (without mentioning Online specifically) on his blog. Furthermore, he posted numerous pieces of concept artwork (such as the above) he devised for Online over the years. This also points to the game being cancelled, since it would most likely be illegal for him to post the artwork if the game were still in development.

Of course, we'll wait for official confirmation from NeoWiz to say for certainty the game's cancellation, but honestly, after nearly half a year with no updates, and growing concerns, this development probably shouldn't be shocking. It is a true shame - Rockman Online was looking like a very interesting game, despite being one fans in the west may have never got to play.

UPDATE: An inside source has confirmed that the team working on Rockman Online was disbanded. If Online is even still in development, it would likely be a very different game than anything we've seen so far. We're choosing not to name the source

UPDATE 2: Mr. Kang appears to have removed some of the unseen environmental art from his gallery. Chances are he's just playing it safe with the advent of this news catching on - apparently it's since been widely spread among Korean and Japanese news sites and blogs.

We also wish the best to Mr. Kang, who says he's currently looking for new work, and that it's hard finding jobs that suit his specialty in science fiction imagery. At the very least, we have this additional artwork you can enjoy after the break.

Thanks to Amunshen for the information (based on a story originally from Protodude's Rockman Corner).

The TMMN Megacast #18 – Zero's Kind of a Big Deal

Zero After sacrificing itself to protect its friends, The MegaCast appeared to be gone forever. But after scouring the Earth, we were able to find and piece together the various parts and rebuild it. Now The MegaCast is back and better than... well, at least as good as... well, it's back anyway.

This month Heat Man, Tabby, AWD, and myself (mainfinger) assemble to talk about the 10th anniversary of the Mega Man Zero series. But it wouldn't be The MegaCast without us taking a really long time to actually get to the main subject. What exactly is Project X Zone? Will it be any good? Will it even come here? We compare it to similar looking games of the past to find out!

Also, we talk about a whole bunch of random crap that has nothing to do with anything because that's what we do. But hey, maybe you know what we should be talking about. If that's the case, feel free to leave future topic suggestions in the comments below.

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NeoWiz Restructuring Leads to Rockman Online Worries

Given the rather slow updates with Rockman Online in the past year, there has been some speculation of the game's health. However, today an article from Digital Times is beginning to substantiate those fears. According to the article, Korean developer NeoWiz is undergoing restructuring and planning to reduce its workforce on PC games - specifically, it will reduce its development staff from 300 to 50 people, and focus more on mobile games.

The article says of the game Rockman Online, which has already exhausted a lengthy development time, that NeoWiz is considering transferring development of the title to an affiliate company, GAMEON Studio. However, it's also thought that there's a possibility Capcom will chose to cease development on Rockman Online after negotiations for the game's fate.

I will make clear that the game is not officially cancelled as of now, but it's understandable to see that the future is looking poor. We may have never even gotten to play Rockman Online in the West, but it was looking like a really interesting game regardless.

We'll keep you posted on further developments.

Thanks to Amunshen for the information.

Get to Know Rockman Online's Original Navigator: Irene

A new Rockman Online blog update details another of the game's original characters, the navigator Irene. She has an interesting back story, which seems to strike a little at ZX material: Irene is a navigator assigned by the UCA Hunter Agency one year prior. We can't confirm who she was created by, and the two Reploids she held as parents were destroyed in a URA attack on an amusement park.

Afterwards, she was accepted into training at the UCA's navigator training center, and assigned by the Hunter Agency.

Irene is among the top five operators supporting the hunters with her abilities of judgment and info analysis in scope of the entire war. Among her earliest credentials was thwarting a large scale URA invasion on Gaia's military base by uncovering their scheme before anyone else could.

However, she's remarkably bad at making split second judgments, and she's often disorganized and makes many minor mistakes. Warnings from within the Hunter Agency have just reached twenty.

Nevertheless, she shows her worth with a grand view of the war she's built up analyzed, and doesn't simply navigate but can produce new battle tactics based on real time changes in the field. Thanks to this, Irene is something of a mascot loved by all at the UCA Hunter Agency.

Thanks to Amunshen for help with the translation! Stay tuned for more Rockman Online updates.

Rockman Online NPCs Named: Say Hello to Deneb and Phoebe

A couple weeks ago, a Valentine's contest which was not much Valentine's themed was launched on the Rockman Online blog. The goal of the contest was to name two human NPCs who will appear in the game's world. The chosen winner would be bestowed a pass for the upcoming closed beta test of Rockman Online. And wouldn't you know it, that winner turned out to be TMMN reader and good friend, Amunshen! Congratulations! First we have Deneb, the male. The goal here was a name that reflected the character's great admiration of Commander Signas. This was derived from the fact that Signas sounds a lot like (and may be named after) Cygnus, a mythical swan that a constellation is named for. Deneb is the brightest star in Cygnus, hence the name.

Meanwhile, Phoebe doesn't have quite a clever meaning. It's more just a cute name for a girl. It has Greek origins, and conveys the meaning of bright and pure, which seems to fit the character's appearance well.You can find other details about the characters in our previous report.

Naturally, there will be other chances for people to get closed beta access, but the rest will be determined by lottery at a future time.

Of course, a lot of you probably wonder if you'll get to play the game at all, much less have a crack at the closed beta! And sadly, decision there remain to be seen, but I have a little good news for you still. Because Ammy's the winner, you can look forward to an exclusive report on the beta right here! Barring any non-disclosure agreements, we'll be sure to bring you all the coverage we can grab!

Rockman Online Updates with New NPCs

Over at the official Rockman Online blog, a special Valentine's Day update has been made to which introduces two new non-player characters. More interesting is that neither of these two seem to be characters we would be familiar with.

So, what's their deal? Read on to find out, thanks to an assist from Amunshen!

Male:

Born and grown up in the warlord family, this 21-year old adores Signas, the chief commander of U.C.A. He volunteered for military service and became the youngest platoon leader, credited for his exellent insight and exercise capacity. Since then, he has recently been assigned to Gaia Base.

He has a straightforward personality and handsome appearance, and has once been ranked as "the most-favored guy to be a boyfriend" by the young women around his former assigned base.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Female :

This 10-year old is the daughter of the regimental commander of Gaia Base. She is a prankful and energetic girl who takes on the role of leader amongst the base's children.

She has been close to the service people in her father's regiment, often playing around their area. As a result, she is beloved by them and acts as the mascot of the regiment. She usually acts like a boy, but also possesses a childlike side, as well as the fact she likes a handsome guy.

Click on the image to enlarge.

The page also features a contest running until February 28th to name the duo, and the winning entries will receive closed beta keys. Unfortunately, the contest is only open to participants who live in Asia, and there is no further word of any way to obtain a key to the closed beta.

Rockman Online Brings Holiday Cheer with Christmas Message, New Navigator, and More Q&A

Well, it seems that just as Santa is about to get his sleigh loaded up for the long haul, the developers of Rockman Online have decided to spread a little Christmas cheer of their own over on their blog. The first item of note is this "Happy Merry Christmas" message. Of course, since it is an image, we cannot easily translate what it says (not by way of Google, at any rate), but it does tell us something else: we may have a new Navigator (seen at right)! Whatever her part may be, say hello to Irene!

In addition, they have added a few nice, big pictures of holiday versions of chibi Alia, Layer, and Irene, each wearing a Santa hat and decked out in Christmas colors (we hope they didn't have to kill anyone to get those color schemes...).

In addition, the third Q&A is up! Translation is still under way on this one, but so far, the answers are still rather vague-- and apparently, people have taken notice. Still, it seems the person answering these is trying their sincere best, but development is apparently being kept pretty secretive for now.

That said, there are some English questions in there-- and one of the non-English questions even mentions The Mega Man Network and Protodude's Rockman Corner-- cool!

And while we've been told not to expect too much, there is one answer which should be of interest to many of you: "Of course, Global service is surely aimed. but we are putting more priority on in-korean service right now."

Thanks for the tips, HeatPhoenix and Amunshen!

Rockman Online Q&A Part 2: Condensed Version

NeoWiz has at last posted part two of the Rockman Online Q&A with the fans. Truth be told, though, while going over the responses Amunshen felt they had about as much substance as the Thanksgiving turkey you ate: mostly banal white meat and little of the good stuff. And since we can't really slather news with gravy and stuffing, we may as well just present the actual facts that came to light, and cut out all the "That'll be answered when the game comes out!"

  • The game is still on track to be a 2D scrolling platformer made with 3D models.
  • None of the game's music will come from existing Mega Man games; it will be entirely original.
  • None of the game's original characters (at least those conceived up until now) will be playable.
  • None of the game's villain characters (such as Vile) will be playable.
  • There is no system for choosing to represent the URA or UCA.
  • Although the game looks based on the X series from appearance, the scenarios do not slant towards any particular series. That being said...
  • Sigma is the main villain of the game.
  • All playable characters have charged attacks.

And that's more or less the info that matters. The questions gathered by Amunshen still haven't been answered, but it appears they are intent on answering question, so a part three post is on its way. Stay tuned! Also, check here for the translation of part one.

Thanks, Amunshen!

First Round of Rockman Online Questions Answered

This is a translation of the Rockman Online Q&A part one by Amunshen, with some assistance from Heat Man. These answers do not include questions collected by Amunshen from western users. These should appear in the next answer post, if they are answered.

Good morning hunters, this is Alia (the blog manager).

As per our announcement last week, we prepared a place where we could answer questions submitted by users. Mr.M, the chief of the Rockman Online development team has written his answers while going through every question.

Development is still ongoing, so in cases where we're unable to answer questions concering elements we couldn't made public, we respectfully apologize.

We will be continuing to takes questions until November 13th, so by all means, if there's something on your mind please leave a comment and ask us!

01. (from 신디루비)

Q: As Rockman Online is an online game based on the original games, have the developers played any of the previous Rockman games before...!? Of course I think you've played many to completion, but I'm curious if there are any truly passionate fans on board.

Also, the "version development"... Is that related to the development of Online?

A: There are indeed passionate fans among the development staff. (Though exactly who is a secrety... ^^)

And yes, the "version development" at the top of the Rockman Online blog is certainly a Rockman Online development thing.

02. (from 페릴로드)

Q: Does the scope of the characters appearing in Rockman Online include every series? If not, what series is the game limited to?

Please state your answer exactly in form of like "from the classic to Command mission". it seemed to appear to be references to Rockman Zero characters, so I have my hopes... hehehe.

A: The basis of Rockman Online is to contain every Rockman series. (However, since there are certainly far too many elements in all, we are planning the appearance of characters to balance the story. So, it's difficult to say what series we'll definitely use.)

03. (from 하뉴)

Q: It seems like Capcom is abandoning Rockman, so will you continue Rockman Online on your own?

A: Rockman Online differs from the console Rockman series in that it's a game concentrated on being developed together with Capcom and NeoWizGames. So, even if Capcom cancels their console Rockman series, Rockman Online is in a state where work will continue to progress.

04. (from 열정의버너맨)

Q: When I watched someone's G-Star video of play footage, the characters' functions and the bosses' characteristics seemed totally different from the source material. Why are they so different?

A:In the case of Online, we thought we should especially emphasize the multiplayer with various users. So, while considering this kind of multiplayer, we thought of bringing characteristics that are a little different from those of the earlier series when adding up each character's characteristics. (The characters and the bosses ^^;)

This is the very first Rockman game made in the online genre, so to some extent we will feel saved if the existing can understand these circumstances.

05. (from tlsdnr07) Q: Question heeere! Naturally I expect this to be a subscription game, but just how much are you thinking of charging? (And please tell me about a virtual currency in the game too. ^^)

A: That's yet to be settled so we can't say with any certainty. ^^;;

06. (from 스카이)

Q: Will Axl be joining the appearing characters? Also, I'd like to hear about the multiplayer fearures with the shop and such.

A: For the time being, Rockman Online is basically being planned as a multiplayer system with many players playing at the same time. Also, of course we plan to expand the systems for things like the shop while we add to the growth of characters... As for whether or not Axl is appearing...Anyway, please look into the characters after we have a structured service. ^^ (I know it's boring to answer this way...)

07. (from Crisopraz)

Q: Will more illustrations of the bosses with their new features be publicized?

A: This is still undetermiend, so we'll decide whether or not to publicize those considering the progress of development.

08. (from 김찬스)

Q: Rockman isn't a game that puts heavy emphasis on just its action, but its story as well. Although it's an online game, I think Rockman Online should have a deeply fascinating story. How is this being handled?

A: We plan on pieces of the world view being published on the blog from now on one after another. Keep an eye out for them!

09. (from 천영)

Q: I would like to hear about what extent of influence Rockman Online will have with existing Rockman players' game skills. I'm also curious about boss weapons and dash jumping being added.

A: When we have a structured service you'll be able to experience these things immediately by playing... Please. ^^;;;

10. (from 쿄우렌)

Q: Will I be able to do group play like in other online games?

A: Rockman Online is in development with the foundations of group play and multiplayer.

11. (from 유령님)

Q: The final attack in boss fight actially wasn't seemed cool, and...In a way, it felt a bit like God of War. Why was a system like this put in on purpose...?

A: We're considering various ways to have more fun in the game. The one that you pointed out is one of those ways, so things like this will be reconsidered in various ways during development... We're working hard to make things more cool for when we have a structured service. ^^

12. (from 로제)

Q: Are you planning on putting animations in the game? Like the teaser movie animation!

A: We plan to consider using various production elements like animation if it's necessary to tell the game's story.

13. (from Leeyeezhy)

Q: I'm really interested in who the voice actors are who perform Rockman Online's characters. Please tell me.Also, what's the story to the prologue and ending? (Note: Do online games have endings in the first place?)

A: There is a chance will will talk about the voice performers in future updates~. Also I think we ought to be able to inrtroduce story elements as well... ^^;

14. (from 시이아스)

Q: It's been said the open beta test is next year... Do you plan to continue telling the stories of incomplete series such as X and DASH in Rockman Online?

A: We plan to only tell the story of Rockman Online, rather than further the story of any existing series. (Of course it's not as though we're completely removing the contents of the existing series, but... hmmmn, that's all I can say for now. ^^;)

15. (from 로엔)

Q: Will DASH and EXE be referenced too?

A: Rockman Online is being developed with the intend to include contents and scenarios from all existing console Rockman series. Since it's difficult to discuss what series have and haven't been used right now, please look forward to the upcoming updates concerning the story and system. (This probably sounds like a way of driving hype... hehehe.)

16. (from 로엔)

Q: Following the posted materials up until now I think things are progressing as a single story, but I'd like to know whether you're using the classic and X series stories, or making a completely original story. With nolstalgic characters being used it seems existing story like may also appear...

A: Rockman Online is progressing as its own story. To some extent, because existing characters and bosses do appear, I think there is intention to preserve particular stories regarding them.

17. (from 이정규씨)

Q: Can I play as Roll in the game? Please let me use her. >_<

A: As of now the only characters are those which we've announced. We are preparing new characters, but we can't announce them yet.

18. (from Zero멜로)

Q: Will characters' armor and parts be sold as fee items? Or can they be bought in the game with Game money? Also, I'm curious how much the characters' functions (their movements and balance) have changed since G-Star2010...

A: The movements, balance and various other aspects have evolved a great deal since the G-star version. We continue to toil in this regard. T_T As for billing and paid contents, we have not determined these things so please wait for further information.

19. (from 풍천낭아)

Q: I want that helmet~~~. Will Axl be appearing with the original X and Zero?

A: The helmet... is expensive... It's probably difficult to get... hmhm. Anyway, please keep an eye out on the opening of the service concerning the appearing characters.

20. (from Ryun)

Q: Will you be able to look for things like hidden parts in special stages, like in the original games?

A: That's a secret... hmhm. (Actually since the game is still in development those things are... a bit hard to answer...)

21. (from 펑포)

Q: Question here... will you be able to play as the bad guys? For example Vile, Red, etc...

A: Enemies are just enemies... We want the players of Rockman Online to be heroes, not villains.

22. (from g_ga_a)

Q: Will it be possible to gain skills from beating bosses, like in the existing Rockman games? If not, will we learn them from the skill masters by leveling up like in any other RPG? Who among the characters are those that players can play as?

A: Since the game is still in development, we can't explain this in great detail...(When characters outside of X, Zero and Duo, who were shown at G-Star are determined, we will announce them on our blog post haste.)

23. (from 마츠모토미츠키)

Q: Will instance dungeons appear?

A: Currently Rockman Online is being developed in the way of entering to battle fields from the Town. (Note: Both the question and answer given were very vague, so I'm not certain of the meaning.)

24. (from 골숭이)

Q. How's the criteria for voice actors?

A: The voices match the characters... plus very cool...*cough*! Please check future updates pertaining to the voice actors.

25.

Q: Looking both objectively and subjectively, compared to other famous online games, do you think that this game will give value that appeals to gamers more than other games? Can the player be considered from the standpoint of a game company?

A: For now, the focus is the players. The core of development is always "What are the players thinking of." Certainly we can't expect to account for every single player's opinions... But it's reasonable to do everything we can, and we promise to take this into account as much as we can.

26.

Q: To put it simply, can you make a better Rockman game than Capcom presently can?

A: Personally, all of us think that the series Capcom has put our previously are amazing. The goal now is to make games that are much better than the games that came before, even if there are only a few, because they are games made in the present day.

27.

Q: If the game still seems incomplete as the release date draws near, are you prepared to postpone the release date so you can make it more complete?

A: We're already in the processing of stretching our open schedule to make the game complete as we're working. Ahahaha.... T_T

28.

It appears, to a certain degree, Rockman Online is using a managerial strategy when you look at the practice of marketing via a blog. In this case I'm concerned about the most important element: the needs (desires) of the customers (players), that is, how much their desires are being grasped. Moreover, today's gamers are not the gamers of old. Especially because in the Korean game market, if desired elements are not delivered, these products will be weeded out. Countless games that were extremely trendy simply ended because they couldn't satisfy desires. The truth is, while I'm looking forward to this game myself, I'm worried whether or not it will fall under the radar when it starts. Personally, I don't think it would be bad if this game were developed in cooperation with Keiji Inafune. Well anyhow, I even would like to send the development team a box of nourishing drinks to cheer them, so I'll quietly pray that a good quality game is made. I pray for that result above all else.

A: Generally speaking, we plan to continue gathering data by any means available in regards to the needs of the players, and we think we ought to accomplish making a good quality game from this sort of research.

29. (from 콜드커스텀)

Q: When's the closed beta test gonna staaaaarrt.... I'm gonna die if I keep waiting... When when when.

A: The service schedule will be decided soon... Right now we're concentrating with all our might, so it's difficult to answer on the open agenda and such.

-------

We will provide additional details in our second round of posts.

Thank you all very much!

Rockman Online to No-Show G-Star 2011?

Maybe. While we were recently updated with word that work still continues on the title, Amunshen informs us that the game may not be at the annual G-Star show in Busan, South Korea, as previously reported. More specifically, researching several articles about the show did not turn up a mention of the game, rather than an actual denial of its presence there.

Amunshen points out this article (Google translation here) as one citing the lack of presence at the show.

So, what's the story? Well, with answers to your questions pending (Heat Man is working on the first of them as we speak), hopefully a little light might be shed on what is now happening with the game.

You Have Rockman Online Questions, NeoWiz Has Answers

Since our last update regarding the status of Rockman Online, we have learned from Amunshen that the game's developers at NeoWiz are going to be answering questions from those that they hope will be playing the game. Now, despite the fact that it seems rather unlikely at the moment that very many of us will be playing the game, there may be a chance for us to get in on the Q&A action as well. Amunshen has offered to translate some selected questions and send them to NeoWiz in the hope that they will be answered.

To participate, all you need to do is leave a question in the comments below, and it may be selected for translation and submission to the game's developers. The deadline is November 3rd, so don't delay, and ask away today!

Rockman Online Still Alive and Kicking

For those wondering, despite recent news, the developers behind Rockman Online still appear to be hard at work on the game.

The above image comes from a fairly subtle update to the developers' blog. Unfortunately, even with a Google translation, we have no idea what they are trying to say. If we had to guess, though, it sounds like more information may soon be forthcoming-- a lucky thing, given the drought on their front.

Thanks to HeatPhoenix for catching this one for us!

It's the End of the World as We Know It: Rockman Online Bumped Back to Late 2012

Rockman Online was originally scheduled for a late 2011 release, but here we are, in September of the chosen year, and we have not heard much of anything from the game in some time. That is, until now. A recent financial earnings report reveals that the only announced and unreleased Rockman title to not be canceled (and, as fate would have it, is poised to be exclusive to the people of Korea) is now looking at a release in the latter part of 2012. Sort of fitting, given the post-apocalyptic scenarios, both in the game itself and the eyes of franchise fans.

The report also notes that the game is being touted as one of developer NEOWIZ Games' top titles for their 2012 portfolio, if not the flagship game for the company that year. Meanwhile, the company is reportedly going to make a strong showing at this year's annual G-Star gaming show in Busan, South Korea, and so it seems likely that Rockman Online could resurface there, hopefully bringing new info and footage. Given how long it has been since we last saw the game in action, one can only wonder what it may look, play, or otherwise be like now.

MMO Site notes that this year's convention is putting a heavier emphasis on "internationalization," leading to the suggestion from Protodude that this would be a good time and place to announce an international release for the title.

We won't argue with that; it's not as though we have anything else on our plate anyway, right?

Source: Maeil Business Network and Daum.net, via Protodude's Rockman Corner

Vote Mega Man (and Rush, and Zero)!

It's that time of year again, when minds become attuned to the democratic process known as voting. But forget politics; we're here to talk Mega Man! And as it so happens, there are a few places where you can make your voice heard by casting a ballot for the Blue Bomber and his friends.

In fact, his friends are the very focus of the first poll. Daniel has tipped us off to GameSpot's "All Time Greatest Sidekick" tournament, where two Mega-companions are vying for top honors. In one section of the bracket, it's none other than the mighty Maverick Hunter Zero taking on a formidable opponent in Launchpad McQuack, who has played sidekick to not one, but two of Disney's dynamic duck heroes. And at the moment, the creator and pilot of the Thunderquack is ahead by a margin of 54.2 percent (14,806 votes) to 45.8 percent (12,502 votes).

Elsewhere, the competition gets even steeper as Light Labs' loyal robodog Rush is pitted against none other than Aperture Science's Companion Cube, where the latter has a lead of 60.7 percent (14,743 votes) over 39.3 percent (9,554 votes).

Our two rad red robots from Sidekick Central have already made it to Round 2, but can they overcome the odds? Maybe, with your help! Spread the word, and think of what a morale boost a win by either (or both!) could provide.

Meanwhile, GameTrailers has been running down their Top 100 Trailers of All Time, and there has been a distinct lack of Mega Man in the spots from numbers 100 through 21. Of course, admittedly, they would have a lot to live up to, but there are a few which might have a chance of cracking the top 20. Here is our assessment of the three which may stand the greatest chance:

  • Mega Man 9 debut trailer - Marking the long-awaited return of the original series which put the name "Mega Man" on the map, with a style which evokes one of the series' most popular installments in Mega Man 2 in not only looks, but gameplay... this one is an outside shot. GameTrailers has been pretty explicit in that they won't let nostalgia sway their rankings, and that is largely what this trailer depends on, even if it's not nostalgia for the trailer itself.
  • Mega Man Universe teaser trailer - Truth be told, we're not even sure whether this qualifies, since the game was canceled. But then, they don't really seem to say anything about the status of a game, merely that it's trailer was good.

    Nonetheless, it does make much more of an impact than most Mega Man trailers with a unique visual style, music by The Megas, appearances by Ryu and Arthur, and an enigmatic nature which left many of us wondering just what Capcom had up their sleeve. But, there is one trailer which may be able to top it...

  • Rockman Online teaser trailer and second teaser trailer - Once again, we're not even sure if this one is eligible-- not only is it not coming out here (that we can tell, with no evidence to the contrary), but GameTrailers does not even have a page for this online multiplayer platformer. Still, a lot of people-- diehard and more casual Mega Man fans alike-- have enjoyed what this trailer has to offer, with quality animation and unique character designs which seem to set a stage for a world which takes the best aspects of the original and Mega Man X for its setting. If it qualifies, then this trailer might be our best bet...

    ...if not for the fact that it is, in essence, a cartoon which shows no footage from the game proper. That could be a strike against it.

From here on, the trailers are coming one at a time, rather than in the group of 20 the rest have been in until now. They seem to be taking into account people who tweet their choices on Twitter with the hashtag "#GTTop100," so if you spread the word and enough people support it, maybe, just maybe Mega Man can get a shot at GT immortality.

Rockman Online Update Discusses Force Metal

It's been quite a while since we've seen any activity from pmang's Rockman Online blog. Considering other unfortunate occurrences this year, I'm sure some have wondered if Capcom would go for the hat trick and pull Rockman Online too. However, it's still alive for now! Anywho, this time the new article focuses on Force Metal, the MacGuffin of Mega Man X Command Mission. The explanation follows that a large asteroid crashes to Earth in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, releasing a vast amount of energy. The asteroid is so big it essentially forms an island, which would later be the foundation for Giga City. Scientists exploring the new "island" discover curious ore not found anywhere on Earth, which has the property to absorb energy from any kind of shock or blow and become stronger. This ore would be dubbed Force Metal, and scientists began to experiment with what kinds of energy it could absorb and what its limitations were.

Ultimately they would be converted into equipment used for making Reploids stronger. However, Reploids with an especially high concentration of Force Metal energy would go mad, and their body would twist into a monstrous form. Though the world governments and hunter agencies themselves utilized highly purified Force Metals and monitored their circulation, they could were helpless to defend against the Mavericks that abused Force Metals. It would eventually fall to X and his companions to stop this "Rebellion" group and their plot to use a Force Metal bomb.

Presently, due to the war between the UCA and URA, the need for powerful Reploids and Mechaniloids has pushed both sides into gaining more and more Force Metals. The UCA's Dr. Gaudile continues research in his Force Metal Engine for creating highly purified Force Metals with no side effects. Meanwhile, the URA's Dr. Psyche is working to utilize the Force Metal's mutative qualities and making the most powerful and warped Reploids possible. While both sides approach Force Metals from different angles, as time goes on the results are becoming more analogous. The UCA regulates Force Metal use based on a hunter's strength in body and will to withstand the metal's side effects. Meanwhile, the Force Metal remaining in the Earth is absorbing its natural properties, and taking on elements such as earth and fire.

Rockman Online Introduces the Sky Fortress "Atlas"

Been a bit of time since we've heard about Rockman Online, but the official blog finally has a new location update. This time we're introduced to the floating fortress named Atlas. As the wars between the UCA and URA have spread across the world, it's become necessary to gain ground in the sky as well. This establishment belongs to the UCA, and is their biggest military installment next to the base on Gaia. Designed by Dr. Gaudille, it's made from a powerful Force Metal frame and has the latest Force Metal engine installed. Despite its size it has impressive speed, and can even self-repair basic damage it endures. The facility is also used for charging up and maintaining dozens of large battleships. The overwhelming power of Atlas serves as a symbol of the UCA's might over the URA. However, recently URA attacks have gotten more aggressive, and the state of affairs is growing worrisome. Scientists saw to completely safeguard Atlas' AI system from all viruses, but there are uncertainties surrounding entering URA controlled territories, where the level of virus contamination is highly serious. With intel pointing to a planned URA invasion on the fortress, it's possible Atlas could serve as a battlefield at some point. (Of course, as far as the actual is concerned, this is a guarantee!)

Thanks for the tip, HeatPhoenix! Now please stop commenting about Rockman Online in unrelated posts! :)

Rockman Online Gets a Little Bass in Its Voice

Okay, sure, if it's "Rockman" Online, then that should by all rights be "Forte," but just go with it.

Anyway, when the first teaser trailer for Rockman Online appeared, one thing which made everyone sit up and take notice was the seeming mix of characters from the Classic and X series. And while Mega Man appeared to have his hands full in battle with Proto Man, we were also treated to the visage of Bass, crossing a windy wasteland while wearing a billowing cloak reminiscent of his Battle Network counterpart.

Since then, we have been treated to updates which have shown us Navigators, Cinnamon, and the body types representing X, Zero, and Duo. And today, we may finally learn a little of how Bass fits in with these characters.

Generally, the updates so far have been rather heavily X-centric; sure, we also have a Duo body type, but as an alien robot who tends to be off in space, he kind of stands on his own. Past Robot Masters still act as bosses, it would seem, while Light and Wily are somehow linked to the United Continent Association and the Ultimate Reploid Association, respectively, but for the most part, we have known so far very little of how the old guard plays into this.

The latest entry on the Rockman Online blog opens with the following text:

He casts dark black.

He casts brilliant golden light.

Is he the darkness? Is he the golden dawn?

Even in the deepest darkness, which conceals light ...

does not conceal malice towards the pure motive of aspiring for power.

And though he stands to oppose the blue hero...

the two are side by side on the path they walk.

Forte comes.

It sounds like it might be a poem of some kind, but even translated, it's kind of neat.

The article then goes on to give a dossier of Forte, which is derived from the data provided by Rightot (Auto) in a previous post:

Forte is a robot Dr. Wily created modeled after Rockman's design, equipped with the energy source "Fortenium." With a base on incredible power output and excellent mobility, his combat ability is near prototypes of battle Repliroids we have now.

Forte possess impressive AI, and for that reason he, unlike other robots, appears to be able to disobey his own master's orders. This has points of similarity to the AI of present day Repliroids.

Forte views Rockman as his rival incredibly strongly, andfor that reason he has an intense aspiration for the power to beat Rockman. Since he has a design like Rockman's, he can achieve greater power through fusion.

Should nothing else come up that's contradictory to this information, this robot, with consideration to the special characteristics of his infinite Fortenium power source, has a high likelihood of being closely similar to the prototypes of this era.

The final portion offers no new art, instead using Bass's Mega Man 10 art as it describes Bass. (ed. Translation added by Heat Man, but I'll leave BD's funny made up words for your enjoyment.)

It mentions the use of an unknown energy called "poreutesium" (perhaps a reference to "Bassnium/Fortenium"?), and seems to mention how he was Dr. Wily's direct counter to Mega Man.

The next line sounds as though it could be referencing a body type, rather than Bass himself-- playable, perhaps? It notes "Strong ability to maneuver is based on energy output and superior combat capability of the existing jeontuhyeong referee Lloyd is a figure close to the original."

I think we established previously that "referee Lloyd" is a slight mutation of "Repliroid" or "Reploid", but "jeontuhyeong" remains a mystery.

Interestingly, the next portion praises its "excellent critical thinking skills," which one would probably not typically associate with Bass. It adds, "because of this, the owner of the robot and otherwise made himself seems to have rejected the command." This sounds like a possible reference to Bass's tendency to work against Dr. Wily as often as with.

Following that, "It is currently held by Lloyd Leva incident has similarities to the circuit." Is "Lloyd Leva" another Reploid reference, or something else?

The next portion seems a little more clear cut, referencing the intense rivalry Bass has with Mega Man, and his aspirations to prove himself the superior robot. Perhaps these aspirations carry over to the Reploids donning this body type, and are reflected in the relationship with the X type? Mine, that is only speculation on my part...

It seems to go on to note the similarities to Mega Man, except in power, which Bass is able to generate more of. His energy source seems capable of generating infinite energy without negative affects. And something about "Cadmium Forte" and its uniqueness.

Finally, it closes with "The robots appear to be in a circular to the present day is likely to have been held." Right, gotcha (huh?).

As always, if you can make more sense of this stuff than we can, feel free to share it with us in the comments below. In the meantime, we'll just keep our fingers crossed that we might someday get this, complete with translated blog entries.