Hello there, fine folks who stumbled upon this little (big) blog, are you having a nice day? I hope you are, and I also wish that reading this at least makes it a more pleasant one, because I'll be diving in the ocean surrounded archipelago world that is Megaman Legend's Terra! Yes, it finally got a name between games, it literally means Earth, so, we're part of the game's story now and that's Headcanon for ya.
Also, if you're not up to date on this yet, I HIGHLY suggest you read this first: https://www.destructoid.com/--551142.phtml#post Because this one will be talking about the sequel and I hope you catch up before going any further, thanks!
So, you're done with the first game, you have finished exploring Kattelox Island and helping out every single one of the troubled people's problems and managed to maybe find it's treasure, they thank you for the efforts and you're on your way out! Are you finally ready to face a larger slice of Terran pie? Are you? Good, because it's high time we got...
Dealing with pirates and beyond is 'from the hood' as it gets, yo'.
AND ONWARD TO ADVENTURE!
When I say this game's artwork is good, I mean it, I mean it hard.
BUT FIRST! Context.
This time, the Year was 2000, the Playstation and Sony were not done trouncing their competition into the dirt non-stop, the N64 was getting overshadowed almost completely by the new competitor, SEGA, well Sega was on it's death door at this point, Rest isn Peace, you courageous bastards. The 3D race had already been running for quite some time, the greats were sitting in their new gold plated thrones and things were looking even better with the new generation of consoles was already happening in Japan! The PS2 had already launched in the land of the rising sun by March of 2000, and North America was bidding their time as October 2000 came around and stores were having trouble to keep up WITH demand for the brand new system!
The PS1 was NOT done however, no sir! It was still getting some of the best games it could and selling like crazy, Nintendo too would know the power of printing literal money some years in the future, when the DS Lite hits store shelves and makes everyone's grand parents get addicted to Nintendogs or something. But then again 2000 was one CRAZY year filled with some of gaming finest titles! How? Well... Final Fantasy IX, Chrono Cross, Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask, Vagrany Story, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2, Perfect Dark, Pokémon Crystal, The Sims, Kirby 64 (say otherwise and I will fight you) Diablo 2 and many more!
2000 was probably one of the best years to play videogames ever, no joke. Remember good old Square Soft? So do I, and boy am I ready for a miracle these days. 2010's and forward Square Enix got nothing on OG Square Soft.
BUT, not to be outdone by it's competition, Capcom graced us with not one, but TWO new titles in this series of games! Launched in late April of 2000, fans got a spin-off of a spin-off, that was... not very good in retrospect, but that game will be the focus of another day, perhaps. But hey, it had a demo for today's title of choice! Not a bad deal all around when you take that in consideration.
When I previously said Japan got the best boxarts, I was being 100% honest to whatever deity you choose to believe in, like Pasta! Potatoes! or our lord and savior Sakurai, father of ultimate Smash, lord of Icarus and grandpops of Kirby the Destroyer, amen!
Then came October of 2000, and not to be scared by the likes Skies of Arcadia or TimeSplitters, Megaman Legends 2 graced american store shelves with it's lordly presence!... In the form of a really crappy boxart, because only Japan is entitled to really good ones it seems. Talking about Lordly Presences and Divine providence, both Megaman Legends 1 & 2 and a bunch of other AMAZING titles are on sale at PSN right now, miiight wanna give it a look, you can grab a bunch of masterpieces ON the cheap! So just saying, if you wanna make me happy or maybe give Capcom some extra reason to get our boy in the field again, might wanna support it by purchasing it there, god knows it's easier to setup a PS3 than a ps1 emulator, and more legal too, so there's that!
3D Renders of the main character looking at the viewer, so bland, so PS1, so IN at the time!
Megaman and Roll are finally freed of being Kattelox Island's errand boys! And not long after being granted freedom? Data tries to commemorate by making us some microwave pizza!.. on a Oven... being a monkey with no fingers. It ends in a spectacle of fire as he somehow gets the entire first floor on fire. Now that's a start! And in this half tutorial section alone you can see the increased detail in Megaman's 3D model, with more polygons and details in his armor than ever before, the controls were better tuned this time due to analog sticks finally becoming a staple of controllers and gamepads all over the world! Alongside a completely new track that just goes to show they took their sweet time making this game sound better than the first one.
I love this monkey as much as anyone else, but he can be a bit of a dumb dumb.
Energetic, alarming and joyful in one music track, it's a sign of things to come.
The game's visuals in general got an entire upgrade across the board though, with the Flutter itself being much more rounder/detailed than it's first incarnation, that goes for levels having more variety in NPC Models, environmental details and size. There are many many more ruins this time around, at least 3~4x times more enemies to fight, close to twice the boss fights and about 3x time more ruins to explore. The sidequests took a hit though, they are few, and they're mostly simple affairs, not being comprised of the many fetch quests that were the first game's favoured design, not a objectively bad thing though.
Megaman Legends 1 - Rough edges and a darker color pallete.
Megaman Legends 2 - Brigther, smoother and round, really round.
On the Mechanics side of things, besides a smoother control scheme, they improved the Lock-On system, you can now fire AND move without being locked in place when tracking an enemy but you still cannot change targets with a button press. Megaman got a new fancy toy out of the box too, with the Kick being only usable in towns and the like, replacing it as the Triangle Button starter Special Weapon is the Lifter, which you can use by holding the button to grab an enemy as soon you get in range, this is very useful considering the amount of damage you can inflict by throwing one enemy onto another, it's even emphatized by the game new Digger License systems.
You can take a test to increase it, with some ruins being locked off otherwise, the tests ARE hard and you need to use the lifter to even stand a chance at finishing them.
The green bastards are back and deadlier than ever, the Red light on the Lifter's claw indicates you can't grab him.
Also you got a fire extinguisher given to you be default, it has VERY few uses besides the forced tutorial, but it CAN be used in a mission later on Nino Island. This game got a lot harder by default and saving frequently is a good habit that will pay itself sooner or later. You have been warned. The game also uses two difficulty systems, one being your Digger License, which affects increases enemies damage/defenses and how much zennies they drop, the other being at the start of the game straight away and I cannot say for sure if they stack.
You can unlock Very Hard by beating the game once, but the enemies get EVEN harder than a S-License, also making the final boss a complete nightmare I hope you don't feel like tackling.
The main goal/objective of the story this time is solving the mysteries surrounding the Forbidden Island and it's habitants, with an expedition being launched right from the start with the help of an old friend of Barrell. Everything goes wrong right from the start, an unknown assailant shoots their ship down, a ship which was exclusively designed to withstand the hurricane surrounding/protecting it from the outside world. The ship goes down, Roll and Mega stop in the closest city they possibly can to try and gather resources to build a special dropship based on the designs of her parents, which were the last known Diggers who attempted to breach it's windy defenses... It ends poorly, as one would expect.
We got a LOT more towns this time around, going from the frosty icelands of Calinca to the sweat inducing deserts of Saul Kada, a lot of the regions have gotten unique npc models for it, their housings, clothes and architecture apropriate for the local culture/climate of the locales. One of special detail is Nino Island, which is not really an island as much as it is a gigantic Ruin entrance whose top was mostly retrofit to accomodate human life, with two different sets of ruins set under it's pillars while serving as a midway point between islands for many others with it's airship docks being the rooftop of the city.
Nino Island, more like Nino Platform, but it's the city housing the main headquarters of the Diggers Guild, so it's importance is not understated.
The new World Map, used to travel between Islands by talking to Roll.
The enemies in general got a lot faster, smarter and deadlier, the dungeons filled with more traps and puzzles than before, Status Effects exist and CAN be fatal. This adventure just got a lot more complicated, as some enemies cannot even be damaged by the regular buster, some needing stronger fire power, but those are few and none can gate you out of progressing further. The status effects are NO jokes either, being ignited on fire usually means your lifebar being drained of 1/3 to 1/2 out of it's capacity PRETTY quickly, then there's being being stunned, which doesn't really make you stop moving as much as it makes your buster range to be point blank and drains most if not all of your Special Weapon Ammo.
Pictured above: Burning to death and fighting what may be the strongest mook enemy in the game. I was not joking when I said hard, this dungeon in particular can be troublesome without the right items/equipment.
Talking about Status Effects, Buster Parts and Equipment, we got many new parts this time around, you can buy chips to reduce the effects of fire attacks, be immune to certain harmful types of terrain, jet around underwater and more, some are passive upgrades applied at all times, some must be switched out as needed, a lot more involved than the last time. With status effects came along the necessity of an item to heal them, so we got both Energy Canteen working as life sub tanks and medicine bottles to heal the new ailments. No they're not that cheap, in fact, if you want money, your best bet is getting S-Rank as soon as possible because things got REALLY expensive this time around.
As said, Flame/Light Barriers, always good to have those around.
You can now quick switch between special weapons and the new Lifter arm.
Do yourself a favor and keep at least 5 of those all times, I mean it, for your own good!
Zenny matters a lot more this time, upgrades and items in general are a lot more expensive and you'll be smart to focus on the right stuff if you don't want to grind a bit for cash, but don't be discouraged, there are some very good spots for that in case you want to do so, even on the first optional dungeon. Item Development/Upgrades work the same as before, you talk to Roll and get those items appraised and turned into goodies, the Hover Jets are particularly easy to get this time around, being sold in stores, making trips much faster, even though I feel like Megaman's default running speed is a little faster in this game.
Megaman can't really tell what's on those Mechanic Notes, needing Roll to apraise them for him, this time around she gives hints as to which items can be combined together to make a new weapon.
30000 Zennies, and this is the FIRST shop, do yourself a favor and get that S-Rank License asap, even if it means stronger enemies all around.
Talking a bit more about dungeons, before we get into the expanded cast, they are a lot better this time around, having exclusive enemies, sub bosses, puzzles, they're mostly good! Except the Water Dungeon, reducing the game's speed by half and adding distortion is a quick way to get someone motion sick, it seems the Japanese PSP port of the game runs at full speed, so they got the better version there. Visually, the dungeons are very diverse in look, with the water ruins looking like an ancient old civilization's remains in contrast to the first's jungle themed walls. The bosses are a lot more involved too, comprising of even badder and stronger Reaverbots and a whole slew of new pirates to mess up your day.
Did someone say jungle fever?
He looks like a mercenary ninja with a scissor for hands... Cutman? Is that you, my dear?
The overall cast of characters has been vastly expanded this time around, not only the Bonnes are back with their usual antics, they're accompanied by Glyde and his Duckbots and a few others. Bringing bad times and troubles at every corner, but mostly goofballs all around, although the new cast's VA doesn't stand close to the Bonnes.
Glyde's actually got a pretty cool design! Looking a lot more professional than the Bonnes.
Now that's fashion.
The cast of supporting characters and NPC has increased too, out of the blue you get to meet one of Barrell's oldest friend and ex-Digger who's struck gold with his excavations and researches over the years, he built an entire ship just to penetrate the Forbidden Island's hurricanes, he's loaded and this time around you're working for him.
Fancy looking old gentlemen, they want your help in gathering the Four Keys to unveil the Island's secret.
All in all, this game took the bases of Megaman Legends 1, polished most of it's rough edges and expanded upon it as much as they realistically could with their budget/time. Unfortunately, as said before, both this game and Misadventures of Tron Bonne did NOT sell well, being left and relegated to weird mobile japan only games with some cute visuals and a couple of ported re-releases on the PSP with some small changes and tweaks.
They also released a N64 port of the first game, that again, did not sell well and even was bashed without mercy at the time, because being released in 2000 in Japan and then in 2001 for North America, with those controls and at a time where both the PS2/Gamecube were going full steam ahead was not the smartest decision. It's a sad thing, but the realities of the market do dictate the products it tends to receive, be them deserving or ... questionably so.
I talked a lot about the changes in the game, but I'll advise anyone interested to try it out for themselves, this one at least has a much better time in guiding the players to the right places and usually doesn't need some cryptic hints to move forward like the first one, the combat is much more involved due to the increased agility/number of enemies fought and the damage inflicted. Status effects are very dangerous and should be something to keep in mind when fighting enemies capable of inflicting them.
The story also goes in a lot more detail talking about the mysteries of Terra, Megaman and Roll's family. And even by the end, you can feel that they did have a good idea of where they would be going next time, with the way things finish it's pretty clear things are not going to be peaceful anytime soon and that both ally or foe would greatly benefit of Megaman's heroics. There's a lot of underlying potential under the ground of the ruins this game ended up being buried upon, and it shows at times, some parts clearly wanted more time to shine, but I don't think they had enough time and resources to fully flesh out every piece of it, but they tried their best and it shows.
As for my time with this series of games, well, the legends they've written won't really be forgotten in time, not by me at least. And I hope you don't either, the first game was a fun experiment, this one was an necessary evolution, and who knows? Third time coulda have been the charm, can you help me get my blue boy back in action?
AND ONE LAST THING BEFORE YOU GO!
Check out some of these fine fine people, their works are awesome and so are you for reading this, hope you have a good day and see you soon!
https://twitter.com/protodude Brian, the Protodude! And his website! http://www.rockman-corner.com/ He really loves this franchise and it shows.
https://twitter.com/Sapphberry She just released a cover Fire Emblem Three House's main theme, it rocks, check her out!
https://pt-br.facebook.com/GetMeOffTheMoon/ Letting a dream be forgotten is the same as letting it die.
http://shmuplations.com/megamanlegends/ They deserve all the love you can give.
http://www.themmnetwork.com/blog/2011/05/30/the-unseen-worlds-of-mega-man-legends For all the incredible concept arts that inspired me to even think of writing this one up.
https://twitter.com/i/moments/1108862157662228480 - An entire series about the links between development personnel of both Resident Evil and Megaman Legends games being interchanged as needed, this pretty much explains why some songs in MML 1 were so ungodly creepy!
And lastly. you.