So Long and Take Care, jgonzo

This isn't really Mega Man news so much, but I want to take the time to thank someone who's been very important to this site, and to me. After today, Community Manager Joveth "jgonzo" Gonzalez will be leaving Capcom, and is setting off for a new life in Austin, Texas. To be frank, I am much more saddened by this than Keiji Inafune's own departure. I first met Joveth back in January of 2010. After it was announced that Capcom would showcase Mega Man 10 during CES, I had BD look into if I could come by to try it. Joveth warmly invited us, and I managed to roadtrip over. Keep in mind this was all in the same week of the event, so it was really last minute. I didn't really know anyone at Capcom personally at the time, and I was pretty timid to be at what I considered an event far more formal than I deserved to be at. But Joveth was the most down to earth person I spoke to. He seemed less like an employee and more like someone like me.

I'm not going to say that Joveth and I hit it off as BFFs, but over the next few months I grew more comfortable with talking to him (i.e. bugging him for favors and information). We got to know each other as well as a customer/business relationship over the internet permitted. A kind and fun guy who doesn't mind poking fun at you for being a fanboy, that sums up "jgonzo" well.

Beyond CES, I have Joveth to thank for E3 2010 and Captivate 2011. Really, I owe a number of people at Capcom thanks for those things, but Joveth was the primary connection there. I also must thank Joveth for giving us contest goods, being the first esteemed guest of our podcast, and even backing me for my interview with Capcom, which is a story for a later time. Joveth even told me about Mega Man Legends 3 moments before it was announced. That's right, moments! Though I thought he was trolling me until it was actually announced.

And really, all I've done in return is send news tips and a tin of popcorn.

Since then I've gotten to know more people at Capcom who are all wonderful. Except for Snow. (jk!) But Joveth will always be the forerunner in a sense, my initial contact. And even if through mutual benefits to a degree, we got to know each other the best I think. So, my good pal, I just want to say thank you for everything. Even if I can't bug you for Mega Man stuff anymore, I still hope we stay in touch. Enjoy life in Texas, I hope you like Dr. Pepper.

Who Would Street Fighter's Producer Like to See in the Next Smash Bros.?

Fans of Mega Man who have wished to see their favorite Blue Bomber engage in some fantastic fisticuffs have found themselves disappointed over the past few years. Sure, MegaMan Volnutt got to make his fighting game debut in last year's Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, but when it came time for Marvel vs. Capcom 3's roster to be revealed, producer Ryota Niitsuma just didn't see a place for Blue, and that left a lot of fans seeing red-- and we don't just mean Zero. But before all that, players were left a bit steamed at no sign of any Mega Man in Nintendo's flagship fighting party game, Super Smash Bros. Brawl. With the likes of Solid Snake and Mario's longtime corporate rival Sonic the Hedgehog appearing (along with their own stages and other members of their respective casts), fans were certain that some form of the Blue Bomber would be a shoe-in.

But in the end? Nothing.

We would come to find out that Mega Man's exclusion seemed to be a comedy of errors, minus the happy resolution. Keiji Inafune would reveal that he was never approached by Nintendo to use him, whereas Sakurai would explain that they had not been approaching others; Hideo Kojima wanted Snake in Super Smash Bros. Melee, but his request came too late in development to be included, whereas Sonic wound up being the most-requested character in a poll they had conducted (one suspects that negotiation of the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games titles might have helped play a hand in that, as well).

Nonetheless, there are those who carry a torch for the idea of Mega Man fighting Mario, Link, and maybe Snake and Sonic, too. And it appears that there are even those within Capcom who hold similar desires.

The United Kingdom's Official Nintendo Magazine (not to be confused with Nintendo Power, despite all the key similarities) recently put the question to Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono, "if Nintendo had chosen to pick a Street Fighter character to appear in the big brawler, who should it have been?"

And interestingly enough, Ono's immediate reaction was not a Street Fighter at all:

Personally speaking, expanding the roster out to the whole Capcom, I'd really like to see Mega Man in Smash Bros because I think Mega Man really fits in that whole world. He has a high affinity with the Smash Bros. world.

So, at least Mega Man has one supporter in Capcom. With any luck, whenever Nintendo gets around to a new iteration of Smash Bros., he'll go to bat for the Blue Bomber, assuming Nintendo hasn't already taken the hint themselves.

But as for the original question?

"If I had to confine it to Street Fighter it would definitely be M. Bison because I would like that mega villain to fall upon those Nintendo characters and cause complete chaos. That would be fun."

Robot Marathon Tests Metal Mettle

This report is a little late, but we only just found out about it from Yahoo! and the Associated Press's report from earlier yesterday. In case it wasn't already obvious, we've pretty much missed the deadline of 200X to get Robot Masters up and ready to take the world by storm. However, that doesn't mean that things aren't well underway in Japan, where four robots took part in a marathon to see not only which mechanical form had the greatest endurance, but also which designers were capable of staying on their toes when things get rough:

The PlayStation controller is a nice touch.

And, if you're wondering how the marathon went in its final moments, look no further than the following video:

Just think: these are like the young infants which will give way to the full-sized robots of the future. And once they start giving them shades and putting scissors on their heads, all bets will be off.

Keiji Inafune Starts His New Company

As reported by Andriasang, while it's still uncertain what Keiji Inafune's future plans are, he is starting to hand out business cards labeled with a new company: Comcept. This comes from a tweet by a video game analyst in Japan who had a run in with Mr. Inafune. Considering all the different areas of entertainment Inafune said he's interested in pursuing, it's hard to say what he might have in the works. However, with this story coming to light, it's likely he'll elaborate some on his blog soon. Truth be told, I can't say how much we'll continue to follow Inafune's post-Capcom exploits. While he'll always be an extremely important influence on the Mega Man franchise, and we certainly like to keep tabs with the guy, if he's not working on more Mega Man games than it seems kind of illogical for us to report on him... as a Mega Man fansite and all. (After researching for links.) Apparently we have already covered this sentiment earlier. So today I am just posting a little redundantly. ;P

In Case You Were Wondering...

First things first: Don't expect us to keep a regular update on Keiji Inafune. After all, we are The Mega Man Network, not The Keiji Inafune Network, and while we all certainly appreciate everything he has contributed to the franchise over the years, the fact remains that he is no longer associated with it. Nonetheless, we felt that following his departure from Capcom (by the way, just out of curiosity, do any of you still believe it's fake? Tell us in the comments, we'd love to see it), some of you may be interested in where he has turned up. And once we caught word that he has started up a new blog, well, we knew what we had to do.

So, with that said, here is what Inafune had to say in his inaugural post.

According to Andriasang, the text on the image above translates into "Keiji Inafune Daze!!," which they believe simply means "It's Keiji Inafune!!"

His profile identifies him as the "Game creator who's created a large number of games like the Rockman series, the Onimusha series and the Dead Rising series." But in the blog entry itself, he identifies himself a little more humbly, as "Keiji Inafune, without a title."

At this time, he says that he has no announcements to make, though when that time comes, he hopes to make them through this blog. So if you are a fan of Inafune's entire body of work and not just Rockman, you should probably bookmark that page.

He does go on to give a brief status update, noting that he would like to "make games," an obvious notion he felt deserved a formal statement. And by "game," he of course means software for video game consoles and handheld systems, though he does not believe social games, online games, and the like cannot be overlooked.

And beyond that? His interest in movies, books, manga and the like is well known, and it seems he would also be keen on pursuing such opportunities, should they arise.

And to those who feel he should stick with games, Inafune feels that he has at last been freed of the life of a salaryman, and it would be meaningless were he not to explore the opportunities that lifestyle had either prohibited or made difficult.

"I'd like to challenge things that I couldn't do during my salaryman era and greatly exceed my former self," he says.

We'll keep an eye out, and wish Inafune the best of luck in these endeavors.

Source: via GoNintendo

Story Time with Rockman

As many of us will be busy gorging ourselves with patriotism and grilled meats tomorrow, here's a little something easy going: a storybook with Rockman! This kids book from 1996, a "Nagaoka's Li'l Picture Book," contains references from Mega Man 6, Mega Man 7, and even Mega Man 2 for Game Boy.

I think what I love most about this story is how Rockman goes and sticks it to Dr. Wily unnecessarily. His goal was rescuing Roll, and it's not implied he captures Wily after shooting him down. He just wanted to make it personal.

Thanks to Terra Stardroid for the original scans!

Dr. Wily Voice Actor Suffers Stroke

While his name might not be greatly known outside of Japan, it's one you surely know if you're a big time Rockman fan. Takeshi Aono has portrayed Dr. Wily in nearly every Rockman game with voice acting since Rockman 8. This includes Rockman X4, Rockman Battle & Chase and Super Adventure Rockman. He most recently gave voice to Wily in Inti Creates's Rockman 10 Image Soundtrack, which released a mere two months ago. Fuji TV has announced that this past Saturday in Japan, Mr. Aono suffered a stroke that was the result of aortic surgery he had performed back in May. While information that Mr. Aono's condition is already improving, it's uncertain if he'll return to work, and Fuji TV is already finding replacements for his current roles in anime such as Chibi Mariko-chan and Dragon Ball Kai.

Already aged 74, Mr. Aono has a very impressive history of performances in both animation and game voice acting. Our hearts go out to Mr. Aono for a speedy recovery, and our thanks for portraying one of gaming's most memorable characters.

News Credit: CAP Kobun, Anime News Network

Inafune once again fears Japanese video games will "disappear totally"

In an all too familiar fashion, Keiji Inafune voiced his concerns about the Japanese video game industry, only this time in direct comparison to Western games at the biggest games show of the Western hemisphere: E3. VideoGamer.com sat down with Inafune last week and reveals that he believes Japan is now entering a 'dark time'.  With the steady rise of the Western games industry, he notes a discouraging trend:

"Every year that I come to E3, year in and year out, the one thing I've noticed is that it seems like the Japanese game developer share seems to be getting smaller and smaller"

Inafune did manage to keep some optimism, noting that Capcom's efforts in trying to break this trend:

"I think to myself sometimes, if we keep on this course, the Japanese gaming market will disappear totally. That is one of the valid concerns that I have, which is why as a Japanese publisher, as Capcom, we really want to fight the good fight, and try and make our games work within this more primarily Western market."

You can read the full interview at VideoGamer.com.

One Step Closer to Jet Sleds

One of Mega Man's most iconic pieces of equipment is the jet sled, which was originally introduced in Mega Man 2 as Item 2, but essentially redefined as an alternate form of Rush the Robodog in Mega Man 3 as the Rush Jet. And while the hoverboard introduced in the movie Back to the Future Part II isn't quite the same (well, maybe Griff's was), I thought the following video might be close enough to the idea to be of interest to Mega Man fans:

HOVERBOARD - NILS GUADAGNIN from nils guadagnin on Vimeo.

The hoverboard seen above was created in 2008 by a young French artist named Nils Guadagnin to be part of an exhibit called, fittingly enough, "Back to the future."

"Integrated into the board and the plinth is an electromagnetic system which levitates the board," he explains on his website "A laser system stabilises the object in the air."

"In the making of this work, I was thinking about different ways of presenting sculpture. In fact it's a reflexion on the multiple possibilities of how to give a sculpture full spatial autonomy."

Though the hoverboard apparently seems to work, the ease and care with which it is placed on its pedestal suggests that, unlike even the board acquired by one Marty McFly, this piece lacks the "POWER" to hover very far off a given surface, or support much heavier weight.

But hey, hoverboard! It's only a matter of time now, right? They still have five years to perfect it and get Mattel to put it into production. Then all the Rush and Proto Shield-styled customs can be made.

A Small Glimpse at the Origins of Mega Man X

This preview image of Mega Man X comes from GameFan Vol. 1 issue 9. It's been thrown around here and there, but my buddy AWD! just tossed this high quality scan at me. The issue probably came out close to the middle of 1993. From the looks of the screenshot shown the game was pretty far along in development (the only oddity is the use of P on the life meter, instead of the X we'd come to see). But man, what is with that artwork? Is that one of the original concepts for X? Maybe his fully armored form? This image didn't even end up in the Official Complete Works, so we may never know. Looking back on this image makes me fairly nostalgic. I've had very few of those "wow moments" in my gaming life, but Mega Man X was one of them. Maybe I was at that right age, but the game really blew me away at the time. The presentation, the gameplay, the attitude, it all upstaged the classic games. And while Mega Man 2 will probably always be my all time favorite game, even that never "wowed" me like the original X did.

I've been feeling lately that it's time for Capcom to turn back to Mega Man X again. Admittedly I'm slightly iffy about a Mega Man X9, since I don't personally feel that X2-X8 ever reached that bar the original X set, though some are still quite good. But I would definitely like to see something. At the very least they can throw Mega Man X up on the Wii Virtual Console. That's been way overdue, as it's not just a great Mega Man game, it's a great game period.

I feel that some of the strongest support among our fandom here is for the X series. Do you ever get nostalgic for the series? How would you like Capcom to return to 21XX?

Lucky Star PSP Game Features Mock Mega Man

Here's yet another story where I'm not terribly knowledge of the source material. However, you weirdo anime fans will probably know exactly what it's about. This past December a PSP game in the popular Lucky Star series called Lucky Star: Net Idol Meister came out in Japan. Why am I bothering to post about this here? Well, the game seems to feature a mini-game that, for all intents and purposes, is a parody of Mega Man! Called "Mega Konatan," the game appears to be a pretty faithful parody of classic Mega Man games, aside from some weirdness and the main character being one of the Lucky Star people. What I find very amusing, though, is all the "comments" plastered over the screens. This to is a parody of the site Nico Video, a Japanese service similar to YouTube which lets users upload their own videos, and then other users may comment on them. These comments will actually roll over the video at the time in the video the comment was left. It fits the theme of the game, which seems to be about becoming the greatest internet idol. How do the Japanese think of this stuff? Edit: Actually, the comments themselves appear to be the platforms you stand on. Very interesting.

I guess if you're jonesing that bad for a classic MM fix before Mega Man 10 comes out, you can go import this Lucky Star title. Just don't get mad at me if it turns out to be totally weird and bizarre!

News Credit: 2chan

So How Is Tatsunoko vs. Capcom?

The release of Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars has finally come. While many (myself included) never thought the game would come over here, Capcom thankfully proved us wrong. What does this have to do with Mega Man? Well, as you probably know by now, TvC features not one, but three playable Mega Man characters; each from a different series: Mega Man Volnutt/Trigger (Legends Series), Roll (Classic Series), and Zero (X Series), not to mention Frank West's "Real Mega Buster" Hyper Combo. But is the game any good?

Capcom was nice enough to send me a copy so that I could review it on the site I primarily write for, WingDamage.com. As for the Mega Man specific stuff: Zero is everything I want him to be and more, Mega Man Volnutt feels very different than Mega Man Classic (featured in Marvel vs. Capcom) in a good way, and Roll is adorable. You can find my full, detailed review of the game here.

And before you throw tomatoes at me for linking my own review, you should know I was asked to make this post.

News Credit: WingDamage

Ippo Yamada Working on Zero Music... To What End?

Ippo Yamada, the primary musician for many Inti Creates titles, including the Zero series, ZX series and Mega Man 9, appears to be working on arrangements of music from the Zero series - but for what purpose we can't really say. On Ippo's Spiceman  blog, a collaboration between himself and manga artists Hitoshi Ariga and Yoshihiro Iwamoto, Ippo opens a blog post from this Monday with the following statement: "Tonight I'm planning on an all-nighter working on Zero melody arrangements." This is the only mention he makes of it, and regrettably the remainder of the post concerns the passing of Japanese voice actor Daisuke Gouri, whom Ippo held in high regard. But the question remains, just why is Ippo working on Zero music, especially all night long? Perhaps for the Mega Man Zero Collection? Perhaps a new album in the works? Perhaps just for his own enjoyment? Hopefully the answer will come our way soon.

News Credit: Spiceman @ Blog

How Tough are NES Games?

This doesn't relate to Mega Man directly, per se, but given that the Blue Bomber has had six releases in the Classic series released on the original 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System, that seemed like a good enough reason to look at the latest video by Rinry of the blog Rinry Game Game as she puts a number of NES game cartridges (all Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt double-game carts) through a series of tests to see just how tough they really are:

All in all, these games are surprisingly durable. Of course, this can only be a good thing for those who are seeking to fill in the gaps their collections possess with some of the oldest titles in the series.

It's too bad newer games aren't more durable, and that grabbing a copy of Mega Man 8 for the SEGA Saturn needs to be accompanied by extra scrutiny. On the other hand, with the growing prominence of things such as Flash memory, perhaps a return to a more durable standard isn't so far off.

Putting the Brakes on Turbo Man

They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but if the dog did something you never knew of? Imagine my surprise when I was (as usual) watching a skillrun of Mega Man 7 on Youtube.com and the player pulled off a rather amazing trick with the fight against Turbo Man. Upon seeing it I just HAD to give it a try myself and after some practice...

...oh poor Turbo Man, life is most cruel to you.

So go on, try it yourself. Celibrate the release of Transformers - Revenge of the Fallen on DVD by smiting Mega Man's very own Decepticon, except without having to put up with Shia LaBeouf.

~Ryudo

EDIT: It's not just Turbo Man you can pull this off on, though he IS the easier one to do it on;

Yellow Devil Comes to Life

Generally speaking, we've all had our nightmarish encounters with the various Devil robots of the different Mega Man series, be they Yellow, Green, Shadow, or Rainbow. Thankfully, they're all just make believe, and nothing like that exists in real life. But, that might just change soon enough, as iRobot reveals its first steps toward realizing a morphing "blob 'bot." See for yourself:

One would think they would at least have the sense to develop a working Thunder Beam first, in case the project gets out of control.

Thanks to Dr. Neko for the find.

MMN Presents the "What am I Fighting For?!" Contest (Updated w/ Prize Picture)

It is a cry which has echoed through the years among the fans of Mega Man, living on in infamy long after the words first passed the lips of a frantic Zero as Iris passed away in his arms in Mega Man X4. But despite the serious and dramatic intent of the writing, it has gone on to be the subject of jokes and parody.

And even today, the question still stands: "What am I fighting for?!" Well, MMN readers, we are going to tell you here and now exactly what you are fighting for.

Thanks to our associate Jaxel and Lucas Gilbertson, who provided the voice of Zero in Mega Man X Command Mission, Mega Man X8, and Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X, we are proud to give you the chance to take home a piece of Zero. Specifically, the picture of Zero you see at the top of this article, autographed by none other than Mr. Gilbertson himself with the memorable line.

So, what must one do in order to stake their claim to this unique collectible? We are so, so glad you asked.

The answer lies in five little words: "What am I fighting for?"

You know the scene; you've likely seen it dozens of times, if not more. You've seen it remade by Mr. Gilbertson, you've seen it parodied, you've seen it hacked, and you've seen it in other contexts. Now, it's your turn to give us your take on it.

We want you to give us your own take on the infamous scene. You can make submissions by YouTube videos, or just send us an MP3 of you (and perhaps some friends) re-enacting Zero's tragic moment.

You can be dramatic. You can be humorous. You can remake the scene with startling detail, or you can put it into another context entirely. Be creative. Just reusing the original sound-byte (or Gilbertson's) isn't going to do it, unless you compensate for the recycling in some other way. Woo us, impress us. Make us laugh, make us cry. In costume or out, or some other way. The sky is the limit.

The chief condition is simply that you must use the line "what am I fighting for?!", or at least some close variant. If you're unsure whether or not your concept will count, mail us at mmncontest (at) gmail.com. That same address is also where you will direct your entries, or links to those entries; just use the subject line "What am I fighting for?!"

The contest begins now and runs until midnight PST on Friday, November 20th. The plan from there is that we will judge the entries over the weekend, and depending how that goes, have Jaxel send the winner the prize on Monday, before Black Friday and the holiday season sets in and mail becomes a nightmare.

Now, get to it, Mega Man Network fans! Show us what you're fighting for!

Update: For those of you wondering, international shipping is a go.

Update 2: Added picture of the prize, as provided by Jaxel.

Update 3: Contest deadline has been extended to January 15th.

Update 4: A reminder brings one last small extension, so entrants can take advantage of the weekend to finish their entries.

Mega Man musicians and more join "Video Game Sound Creator's Alliance"

Destructoid is reporting that 40 Japanese video game artists are banding together to form the "Video Game Sound Creator's Alliance." Who's joining exactly? So far it has the likes of Akari Kaida (Mega Man & Bass, MegaMan Battle Network, MegaMan Battle Network 5), Seiko Kobuchi (Mega Man X7, Mega Man X Command Mission), Shinji Hoseo (MegaMan Network Transmission, Rockman 1~6 Techno Arrange Ver.) and Ippo Yamada (Mega Man Zero/ZX series, Mega Man 9). There's also quite a bit of impressive non-Capcom talent, including Manabu Namiki and Michiru Yamane. Furthermore, one of the site's supervisors is Hally of VORC, who played a large role in organizing Chip Tuned Rockman. So what's the site about? Well, we don't really know yet, but we'll likely know when the page fully launches on October 19th. With that much talent on board, whatever they're working on is bound to be good. Thanks to Dark Napalm for the tip off.

Xtreme Wave Fan Illustration Book

If you pay attention to the fanart scene, you'll know there's something very popular in Japan called "doujinshi". Basically, comics or illustration books done by fans. You'll also know that outside of Japan, it's very rare to see a doujin. If you're one of the lucky few, you get one, but alas, it's in japanese. Not many of us can read japanese. So, we get to oogle the pretty pictures. Today's our lucky day. Some of the talented fan artists of the Rockman fandom have made their own little doujin/illustration book.The best part? It's in English!

Not only is the artwork just beautiful, it's a good way to show our local fan artists we appreciate the work they do.

Those artists are teatea, JoyS , and Galou. With guest artists Hwa-si, kaiten

The cost for this book is a nice $15 USD for a B5 size, 32 pages in full color. And not only do you get the book, you get a nice random postcard. For an extra dollar, you get both postcards offered.

If you would like to order one, you can visit teatea's site with the order form, or click here to go straight to the order form.

Game Center CX Vs. Rockman: The End of Arino!?

arinomanAs I've mentioned before, Game Center CX is one of my favorite television shows about games. Starring Shin'ya Arino, a Japanese comedic personality, who does various game related segments such as talking to game developers and visiting game centers. But the most popular segment, which became the focus of the show, is Arino's Challenge, which involves Arino clearing a set goal in an old game, usually clearing the game and seeing its ending. While the show appears meagerly produced, its main draw, which I believe sets it apart from so much other gaming related programming today, is that it prominently features the responses of Arino, the player. He shows the sudden and impassioned joy and despair one feels while playing a game, especially a fun game. Arino constantly comes up against difficult struggles, which the show presents in a tight-rope walking, "will he make it?" style. This is what I think is so great about gaming, the fun of playing, and those sudden moments of not knowing if you're going to make it. Phew, rather than describing more, feel free to learn more about the show on Wikipedia. Anyway, challenging numerous "retro games" in the show's six year run so far, Arino has of course had his hand with Mega Man (Rockman, of course). He faced Mega Man 2 in the second season, the original Mega Man in the seventh season, and Mega Man 3 in the latest 11th season. Today I would like to share his challenges against Mega Man 2 and 3 with you (unfortunately footage of the original Mega Man is not currently online, that I've found). The episodes are purely in Japanese, so they may not be fun to follow along if you can't understand anything, but I think you still feel a very strong understanding with Arino's trials. Furthermore, TV-Nihon is working on subbing season 2, so the Mega Man 2 episode should be out before long (not to mention, you can always go on YouTube and see subbed episodes for other classic games). Anyway, without further ado.

Mega Man 2: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

Mega Man 3 (a challenge so great, it takes two episodes!): Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

Incidentally I also want to mention, Game Center CX has spawned two DS games, the first of which has been localized in the west as Retro Game Challenge. If you don't have it already I highly recommend it!

Much thanks to Auto for cluing me in on the videos.