The End of a Legend

Mega Man Legends 3 is dead. Capcom has officially canceled it yesterday.

I can’t believe it. Or actually, I kind of can. Mega Man Legends is the game that Inafune put effort into getting on track, it was the last thing that he left behind for his fans, and it was left in the hands of Capcom. And Capcom had tried to get rid of it. The contests, the idea of a paid demo called the Prototype Version, those were all warning signs that Capcom was doubting if the fanbase was dedicated enough for the revival of the Legends series to be profitable. In all probability, it would have been profitable. Amongst Mega Man fans, Mega Man kind of turned into a Legend of itself. In a lot of places it was a game that was hard to come by, not everyone got lucky enough to get their hands on it. Doubly so for the sequel.

I’ve only been able to rent the first, and I’ve never even seen a copy of the second. Had I been given the chance, I would’ve bought these games. The same goes for the Misadventures of Tron Bonne.

Growing up, my only real memory of Mega Man was Wily’s Revenge (which I pronounces as Willy’s Revenge back then, I knew nothing of Mega Man). It proved to be too much of a challenge for me, and soon enough I gave up on it, and the rest of the franchise along with it. The Blue Bomber never a good hold on Europe, so it was easy enough to play most of the big influential titles during most gaming generations while sneaking past the Mega Man titles as if they weren’t even there.

Still, Legends appealed to me for some reason. I was going through an adventure and RPG period at the time, it could’ve been the anime style that made me rent the game when I saw it. It might have been the anime-like style. I had no clue what anime was back then, but I did recognize a similar style mostly appearing with RPGs, so this experience might be something completely different from my previous one with Mega Man.

It was. And it was fantastic. I remember being surprised at the cutscenes, at the world and it’s representation. As a kid, even the incredibly stupid “In a world covered by endless water” introduction did not turn me off. Things just clicked. I had fun.

Later on I spent ages tracking and hunting the game down at every place that sold PS1 games. Along with many, many other titles I had managed to rent but could never find in stores, like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. A search that, thanks to the backwards capability of the PS2 lasted two entire generations of gaming. A search that in the end turned out to be fruitless. I never found a copy of the game, its sequel, and the Tron Bonne sequel for sale anywhere.

Battle Routine Set! Execute!

Without Mega Man Legends, I would have never tried Mega Man’s other big experimental change-up, Battle Network. Another franchise I grew to love later on. At one point, Mega Man Battle Network 2 was burned into my GBA and decided to never leave the thing again. It got even worse after I beat the final boss and unlocked the end-game portion of the game, a part that lasted longer than the rest of it. A friend of mine turned out to be a massive Mega Man fan, and the influence of Battle Network got turned into a stepping stone towards Mega Man X. And then Mega Man X lead to the original series.

The thing with Mega Man is that it isn’t pure nostalgia for me. Part of it is, especially Legends. The thing is that most of the games, most of the franchises, just age very, very well. They age well enough for even the older titles allowing themselves to be picked up and played without problems right now. Well, besides the difficulty of course, but that’s just what you get for picking up a Mega Man title. You have to work hard to get to the next stage, but it’s always worth it. Mega Man 9 and 10 proved how true this is in being old-school 8-bit Mega Man action and still playing like a charm in this day and age. With that working out as well as it did, I had all the faith in the world Legends 3 was going to be worth playing.

And then Capcom killed it.

Capcom has been good at crushing memories and dreams lately. I’m guessing they’re still bitter over whole thing with Inafune. Although that might not be entirely true. Just looking at the direction the Ace Attorney series has taken after switching to Apollo and Miles Edgeworth is almost painful. To make it even better, they keep getting sketchy about localizing future titles in that series outside of Japan.

And no, games like Resident Evil 5 and Dead Rising aren’t helping my disposition towards Capcom either.

Sometimes I prefer the days before the internet. Just so when a game I’d be highly interested in getting canceled I just wouldn’t hear about it.

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