I’d like to introduce to you a segment that I hope to see grow in strength and numbers as time goes on. This is a segment conceived by Roberto Reynoso and then bounced around between the two of us. For now, it seems appropriate to title it “The HD I Want to See” because that about sums up what the article is about, plus it’s all catchy and rhymey. Wibbly wobbly, timey wimey.
First off, why HD remake at all? Well, I think the most concise answer is that there is an audience for it. As gamers, we look back fondly on the games we played in our youth and sometimes we want to go back and play those games again. We long for the good old days but are then met by restrictions of plugging in older consoles after considerably dusting them off. Or worse, we’re so used to the newer generation that we can’t stand to deal with the old generation for long because we have become spoiled with new graphics and controls.
An HD remake allows us to re-explore our old love from the comfort of our new love. Our Sega Genesis game can be fully functional on an Xbox One and we lose no sleep over it unless we feel particularly nitpicky. Like the fog in Silent Hill 2. Seriously guys, the fog made it..
Now is the part of the article where I’m going to have to ask you to put your nostalgia glasses on for a bit, or at least to try and look through mine as I explain why Megaman Legends deserves an HD remake. I would be inclined to drop a spoiler message here but the game is from 1997 so if you haven’t played it by now I’m pretty sure I won’t be ruining your day with this article.
Megaman has had a long and celebrated history here in the states. Sequel after sequel and robot masters galore, followed by the impressive and dark storylines of Megaman X. I personally cite X4 as one of my favorite playstation games due to the exploration of Zero as a character and the complexity of the Mavericks and Sigma’s boss forms.
When I first got Megaman Legends, I bought it on name alone. Everything about it just looked great. It was a large world to explore with refreshing character designs for Megaman and Roll. Nothing about the box art prepared me for just how much fun I was going to have.
See, Megaman Legends did something new for the franchise. It was an RPG first off and it had some elements of an open world sandbox too. The graphics at the time, for Playstation 1, were beautifully done and the enemy AI was programmed well enough to give you some decent trouble along your way through dungeons. Again though, this was an RPG and that is what made Megaman Legends so unique and fun to play.
You had a weapon crafting system that was probably the most rewarding of all. You would find one or two pieces and bring them to Roll and voila, a new gun or other helpful item. You could upgrade your weapons using Zenny collected from the various Reaverbots that you fought and destroyed. I remember making using of the Vacuum Arm and a high powered Buster to farm Zenny in a specific dungeon and that was probably my first introduction to my future in playing MMOs.
You had a lot of interactions to experience too. There was an artist who also curated at a museum and was always so excited to get donations of items you found dungeon crawling. There was the Mayor who needed donations to rebuild the town after certain destructive attacks (Monteriggioni? Anyone?) There was the police force who were just incompetent enough to need your help when the Bonne family was wreaking havoc. And the Bonne family! The romantic tension between Tron and Megaman, coupled with the fact that Tron had an obligation to her family but was simultaneously confused by these strange feelings for the Blue Boy, I loved it so much. Add in the childhood friend romantic subplot between Megaman and Roll and you had just enough of a love story to capitalize on those feelings without having to distract from the main story of the game.
So how do we remake it into HD? Well, for starters, a graphical update. Part of Megaman Legends’ appeal was the cute character design that didn’t stray too far from realism. Translating this into 3D would be very easy nowadays and could be achieved with great success. I’m thinking of some Guilty Gear Xrd type of artwork personally but I know there are plenty of ways to do it.
I’d like to see Kattelox island actually made much larger, with more ruins and more places to explore. I don’t so much mind the idea of creating new characters that weren’t there before because the chance for larger story is now available. I would fully embrace using “Skyrim Clone” as a model for building this game up into something epic. That museum curator could now have a rival museum that she’s competing with and there could be different rewards from both museums making your decisions of who to donate to that much more important to consider.
The weapons and upgrading system could be expanded now that the island is bigger. Add in all new weapons that hadn’t existed before. New upgrades or more effective ones at least. A full on driving mechanic could be introduced for the armored vehicle you obtain early in game. Rather than just using it as a fast travel system you could now travel in real time and explore the island.
The Reaverbots could see considerable improvements with this remake. Much of their design, and there were many different designs, had a campy sort of children’s feel to it, like a big dumb Frankenstein who is just scary enough to feel threatening. Some had more of a menacing tone, like the giant wolf Reaverbots or the Scyther looking ones, and there’s a definite unnerving aspect to the cold, unfeeling robot eye that all Reaverbots have.
Story wise, I think it would be good to see an expansion of not only the town’s history but of the world’s. We’re left wondering how this world became covered in water (further investigation online leads to you the information that Legends’ timeline is many centuries after the X and Zero timelines.) and how the Reaverbots and ruins came into creation. The revelation of Megaman Juno at the end of the game does help to explain some of this but I think that in game narrative could be done better. Research notes found in ruins, ancient texts deciphered from the walls, old data logs that are recovered and made sense of. Megaman Juno’s part in the game seemed only to be not only one of the hardest bosses to fight but also to shoe-horn in the rest of the story. Why not play around with teasing the history of the world to the player?
Overall I think that bringing Megaman Legends into the current gen of gaming consoles would be a fun endeavour if not a lucrative one. While Megaman Legends did have a sequel, it was sadly left at a huge cliffhanger for the proposed Megaman Legends 3 that would have answered so many questions. I think that the events of Megaman Legends 2 and the subsequent planned ideas for 3 would make for amazing DLC purchases that would be worth every penny you paid and create a massive world to enjoy for hours on end.
Did you have a favorite part of Megaman Legends? Is there something I missed that would be a great selling point for a remake? Let me know in the comments.