Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Rockman EXE4 10th Anniversary

I'd hate to ruin any kind of original series stuff I've had posted since we did have a breakthrough with the PocketStation stuff last month. A breakthrough for me anyway. But it's only right since the time has come.



To start this story off. It took me quite some time to get into the EXE series. But when I did, I started needing to have something other than the PSX Rockman games to collect at the time. Since the first localized release. I hated waiting for those to come. Either bad typos or changes / removals, the delays were awful, especially for the second game. Until then, I started having to collect them in Japanese like I did with the PSX games. Up to this time, the games would release with one version. Until Battle Network Rockman EXE3 came along, it released in December, and in March a second version was slated for release. Before an announcement, many people wondered about these "extra" Giga Class Chips within plain 3. And a few people had found a Shadow Style within the game. Not to mention, with the Anime still shown during the time, and merchandising like the Card Game, and the Plug-In PET, it would release things called Lotto Numbers. Which are numbered codes within the game data to give out new prizes during each week or month to be released. 3 was supposed to the end the series I believe, correct me if I'm wrong. But sales were probably just good enough for a second version release, not to mention the merchandising again.



4 had been announced during the Summer of 2003, with smaller sprites / maps in over world view so they could show more on the screen. A simultaneous release for two versions, more merchandising and a new Anime would come as well to hype the game's release up with more and more news on the game every 2 weeks to a month of more CoroCoro Magazine info. I really loved the names of these versions though, it was something that must have stuck with a lot of people back then int the excitement for release.




This was when the ROM dumps came out. They released them while I was in school, I had my games on Preorder from NCS at the time. I had not known about backup / flash cartridges at the time so I had to use emulation if I wanted to view and play early. One of my good friends was with me, and I had gotten him into the series since a few of my other friends stopped playing at 2 and 3 so it was perfect. I was very excited about Full Synchro, it looked so cool. And Soul Unison was pretty neat over Style Changes, which was a nice change at the time. I thought it added more strategy to battles. And the BGM was glorious. The Title Screen Theme was on the Official Site at the time. Very excited though.


I will never forget that day. I remember I stayed home from my Junior year from High School, I couldn't even sleep the next day. Since I knew my copies of the game were coming in the mail. Usually shipment comes to them on Thursday, and I get my shipment from them the next day. I was playing Soldier of Fortune II Double Helix on the original Xbox on Live with some friends and family. I checked my status of where the package was while I waiting for the map to load, and it was delivered. Turned the Box off, went outside, got the package, and opened it. Everything was so cool about this. Both cartridges were colored, which was the best touch I thought. And most copies did come with Axess Series Battle Chips of MeteorRedSun and BlueMoonRay depending which version you bought. Hooked up the ol' GB Player, and it was wonderful. I think it was snowing that day too. So it was very fun. I would progress through my games like so since my Friends at school could play my other version, since they wouldn't be able to play it for half a yearish anyway.


I was kind of annoyed at the time by multi-playthroughs, it was a nuisance trying to keep up and make sure you've gotten every vital Upgrade or Chip. Not to mention, these games had a nasty habit back then of erasing save data, especially my Tournament Red Sun. And I needed to keep backups with my GameShark which a made a Action Replay V3 at the time. Half the time I would have to restart or do multiple attempts to get my save data back then. I just wish I knew about the Flash Carts and it's linkers back then so I could have avoided this.



Maybe it had something to do with game being huge in the end? Or maybe my hardware was dusty / faulty...


-Lotto Number (Anime, Books, Advanced PET, CD, etc)

-Card e-Reader+ (Kaizou System of Customization)

-Battle|Progress Chip / Beast Link Gate

(Operation Battle Mode [4&5], Team Battle, NDC Install [6], Chip Support)

-Rockman Zero 3 (Z Saber Mega Class Chip acquisition (4))

-Bokura no Taiyou (Cameo, Crossover Battle 1-2 (5&6))


This game would set the standard for years to come in terms of gameplay and the connectivity above for each future title. This game ended up being the best handheld Rockman ever to be sold in Japan, or probably worldwide. And the sales would die down after each year until they eventually stopped producing Action RPG Rockman titles in late 2009. With 2010, and there on never having another title again. I do have to say that I am disappointed by this. Especially since it was the best sold one for the handheld market. It's a shame that it's been so long, and that nothing has been done like a re-release / enhanced port anytime for this year. Yes, I would like a 3DS Cartridge of something like this. Make them single game carts, or split it into two cartridges for the whole series. Not Zero Collection bad, and definitely not a lackluster Virtual Console release. I actually favor this more than the SSR games, the 3D ruined the genre of these games, and it would get progressively worse until it wasn't interesting anymore. EXEOSS released as the final game counting each year. We did make it back to EXE though. I hope something happens with Capcom. Since this franchise never did them wrong, especially 10 years ago. And you might not like 4, while it might have been annoying for most people. Give it a try again, keep track of the things you collect in each playthrough. Especially without additions like the Kaizou System or Operation Battle Mode, this game is still fun to me. Some of these years have been a big part of my life next to the original series of games. And it's been a great 10 years if I say so myself.


  1. Great article, congratulations. Not one of my favourites EXE games but i was entertaining at least.

    1. Thanks for viewing.

      I was excited when this one released. But I think it took me a while to really like it as much as I do now. I feel like the multiple playthroughs was a flaw. I think it was innovative for the time with all the side things it could do. I think it might be between 4 and 2 for me as my favorite, along with 5 or 3 being second. I really like them all, and I liked how 6 ended off the series. A part of me misses this series. Even if the original series is my favorite.

  2. 4th part is best imho.
    I wonder where you getting all this stuff. I mean i cant find e-reader card album anywhere.
    Also. what are those boxes with Rockman, Blues, Dark Rockman and Forte images?

    1. I used to get most of my things through Japanese auctions years ago. I made my own Card album around 9 years ago, I made a custom sticker to put on the front back then for my EXE4 binder of cards.

      The Boxes are 30 Card e-Reader+ Packs of 5 cards per pack.

  3. I enjoyed reading about your experiences with the franchise.
    In a lot of ways, EXE4 was a letdown for me. I had been talking up a new game plus mode edition to BN games since the first one, but the attempt that came with EXE4 felt tedious at best. I also remember being frustrated that GS/AR/Emu codes were no longer as easy to hack with this title. And the merchandise seemed to explode exponentially, and at the time I didn't have the money to keep collecting it all. It felt like an assault on all fronts. Even so, I'll never forget the soft spot for the overall series and how impressed I was in the beginning that I could enjoy a Rockman title with such a radically different manner of play.

    1. I also have fun reading the blog you compiled as well. I like how you cover just about everything that's rare in Japanese mainly, all those rare scans of things that are so obscure.

      Yeah. It's definitely no good trying to keep track of things. It took me around 5-6 years to do things smart, rather than being casual and doing whatever in a next playthrough. The best method I found is compiling a list of every upgrade that's needed for each playthrough. I didn't make a list of Battle Chips needed sadly. But it also involved using maps from guide books and double checking each location just to make sure I've gotten everything in that desired playthrough. By the third playthrough, you should have every virus battle chip and pretty much almost every chip in the game that can be gotten that's shared with all playthroughs. I figured this was the solution in order to not waste time with multiple playthroughs and doing things with a minimalist possible playthrough for every single thing you could acquire in the game. It's a shame it's one of the game's major flaws, normally you shouldn't have to be too resourceful for a game like this. It's not fun when you have to look at a list where everything is, unless you are doing it for completionist sake. This and 4.5 felt like the worst for collecting everything. And my 4.5 I've never finished, and I need to replace the RTC battery at some point if I ever do get back to it some day.

      I was thinking the game was hard to hack due to all the stuff in the game maybe. It took a while for code hackers to get Zenny and BugPiece codes working back then, all I ever did was use Zenny / BugPieces after Battle.

  4. Great writeup !

    I especially agree with
    "I hope something happens with Capcom. Since this franchise never did them wrong, especially 10 years ago. And you might not like 4, while it might have been annoying for most people. Give it a try again, keep track of the things you collect in each playthrough."

    I also have a soft spot for the 4th game. Like you mentioned, the linkability and new elements were sheer awesomeness.
    Let's not forget it also brought us the Gun Del Sols.

    I have to to admit that is probably since that is the game I enjoyed with my friends the most.
    Multiplayerbattles multiple times a week.
    It was awesome.

    The second would be 5 in this terms.

    I wish we would have found this series earlier, as in hindsight 3 was epic.

    After playing all of these I gotta say: lovely series, especially since you see how this series evolved from title to title (I feel like I miss the dark side/evil chip element in 6...)

    About the "I hope something happens with Capcom. Since this franchise never did them wrong, ":

    I agree with that 100% aswell.
    I wish they would just like sell the rights to Inafune or something.
    (Or at least do a big EXE game for 3DS with pretty much "everything" + Wifi Battles")
    That would totally rock.
    They are just wasting potential.

    On a side note:
    Since I've been listening to the Rockman Zero Remixes (Telos, Idea, Physis...) I wonder:
    Why hasn't such thing been done for the EXE Series Soundtracks ?

    Imagine "Time Limit", "Save a Life", "Great Battlers", "Battle vs myself", "Save our Planet" or all those Undernet Themes remixed ?

    Too bad they didn't do that.

    Which anime do you prefer ?
    EXE or RnR ?

    I currently still have Stream and onwards left to watch... Howver I kinda liked RnR's easy going Animestyle, it seemed "more-matured" (?)..."
    For the games its a no-contest. I just played RnR due to it being the spiritual successor.
    (Same goes for ZX to the Zero franchise, but that is a different story).

    Also if you have time:

    1. Nice to see you again. I'm not sure why they haven't done any kind of remixes / arrangements. Even with the non Inti label, Suleputer they could have done something. Even with the Anime BGM. Maybe they didn't think to release the later BGM for the Anime because of copyright right and contracts.

      EXE for Anime I'd have to go with. Up until Axess ending. I think the show really gets too bland when everyone is able to do the Cross Fusion. And the lackluster ending for Stream kind of killed it for me. RnR I never really gave a chance. Maybe it's a good thing that I didn't, seeing the way it's continuation ended being cancelled.

  5. Thank you for sharing this. It was a great read.

    I remember exe4 vividly as well. I remember spending a whole summer playing through blue moon(?) many times trying to get blues style. Waiting anxiously after the end of each tournament for the dialogue that hints at which character/navi you encounter next..

    I remember bit and pieces about the collection aspects...about how using dark chip permanently reduces your health...and the way to dark style was to never collect any hp mem(?) until the you end up with 1 -> 901 hp...

    Though we appear to be of similar age, I never had these experiences with importing, collecting merchandise, or even the physical game that you did. (my first game console was a hand-me-down gameboy color from a co-worker at my part-time job, in 2004.... and the first time I imported a game was in 2009). I only played exe series on emulator back then. Still it was an unforgettable memory.

    Wish you a happy new year. See you on psn sometimes.