- Dedicated fans preserve and release obscure Mega Man mobile phone games that were only released in Japan, allowing fans to experience titles that were nearly lost.
- The archived games include pinball, racing, and puzzle games, as well as two Battle Network games with new stories and characters.
- This achievement highlights the importance of video game preservation and allows fans to explore lesser-known games within the Mega Man franchise.
A group of incredibly dedicated Mega Man fans have released translated and working versions of eight mobile phone games that were only released in Japan. Capcom’s Mega Man franchise has been going on for over 35 years, though fans of the Blue Bomber have been put through a rather rough few decades. While Capcom in recent years has been revitalizing the franchise with new Mega Man Legacy Collection packages and the release of games like Mega Man X Dive, a lot of fans have been doing their best to keep the series relevant.
Fans who have been starving for new content outside re-releases from Capcom have taken to making some of their own games or revisiting some obscure Mega Man releases. Some of these more obscure games were released for mobile phones, specifically the DoCoMo Java-based mobile i-Mode phones. Companies like Capcom and Square Enix developed games for these phones, but most of them have been lost due to the shutdown of these phone services.
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Thanks to the efforts of fan group SciLab Secrets, the goal of preserving some of these lost Mega Man games was achieved, and was released for fans to download through the fansite Rockman Corner. These eight titles are Rockman EXE: Phantom of Network, Rockman EXE: Legend of Network, Rockman DASH: Great Adventure on 5 Islands, Rockman Pinball, Rockman GP, Rockman Panic Fire, Rockman Bug Sweeper, and a trial version of Rockman 1 which gives players the ability to play as Roll, a humanoid robot who is considered the sister of Mega Man. All of these games are playable courtesy of the DoCoMo Java (DoJa) emulator.
Emulated gameplay footage was uploaded to YouTube, showcasing how each of these games played. Games like Pinball and GP were simple pinball and racing titles made for mobile devices. Bug Sweeper is a Mega Man-themed minesweeper puzzle game and Panic Fire is a puzzle game that tasks players with guiding the blue bomber to an exit while avoiding Fire Man’s attacks.
The more interesting games that were archived by SciLab Secrets would be two obscure Mega Man Battle Network games, Phantom of Network and Legend of Network, which are similar to the GameBoy Advance titles, but sport brand-new original stories and NetNavis. The other would be Great Adventure on 5 Islands, a Mega Man Legends game, though it currently only includes the last level in the game.
Games Preserved by SciLab Secrets
- Rockman EXE: Phantom of Network
- Rockman EXE: Legend of Network
- Rockman DASH: Great Adventure on 5 Islands (Fifth Island Only)
- Rockman Pinball
- Rockman GP
- Rockman Panic Fire
- Rockman Bug Sweeper
- Rockman 1 with the ability to play as Roll (Trial Version Only)
There are many more games that are currently being decrypted by the fan group, such as the remaining content for 5 Islands, as well as games like Rockman Tennis and Rockman Diver. Regardless, this is a huge victory for video game preservation, as fans can now try out these incredibly obscure games that they may have never heard of before.
The Mega Man series follows the aptly-named main character (called Rockman in Japan) as he battles against the sinister Dr. Wily and his horde of Robot Masters. The long-running series features a wide array of well-known characters and villains like Zero, Dr. Wright, Roll, Vile, Bass, Metal Man, and more. Players make their way through special themed levels and defeat the Robot Masters there in order to obtain their weapons, which can be used against other enemies.