HomeVideo GamesRemembering the Classics: Mega Man Legends

Remembering the Classics: Mega Man Legends


Thanks to the prevalence of online stores like Nintendo’s Virtual Console, the PlayStation Store, and Xbox Live, it’s never been easier to buy old games. This is especially important when physical copies of the rarest titles can go for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars online. Suikoden II is probably the best example of an under appreciated hit that finally got some due diligence with a much lower price tag as a download. Now we can add The Misadventures of Tron Bonne to that list. Currently boasting Amazon listings of well beyond $100, you can get this Mega Man Legends spin-off for the unbelievable price of $6. This is obviously much more justifiable for a video game, which is why most people are really excited that this happened. It’s also well known for being exceedingly rare due to limited product, so now Mega Man fans have a legitimate chance to try a spin-off that a lot of people really enjoyed.

As awesome as this is though, it wasn’t long before the public put a dark cloud over this surprising re-release. The Misadventures of Tron Bonne is the only game from the Mega Man Legends series that is currently available for download. You can make the case that  Capcom or Sony haven’t made a push due to the other two games being more accessible, but that point is rendered moot when you look at the already huge library of PSone Classics. There’s no reason why Mega Man Legends shouldn’t get represented, especially with Nintendo currently enjoying a “Mega May”. Yet Capcom has quite a history with giving the story of Mega Man Volnutt a firm cold shoulder. This is in despite the Legends series being a trio of really great games that many consider to be the most unique of the entire Mega Man franchise. 

Very little about Mega Man Legends actually makes it look like your normal Mega Man game. Take away the titular star name and his blue outfit, and you have a goofy action adventure game lead by a young man with a cannon arm. You don’t have the typical robot masters that are at the end of every level. Defeating a big enemy won’t give you abilities that mirror theirs. Dr. Wily is a no show, references to the original Mega Man character are slim at best, and you play on a fully realized 3D environment. While some people can use these a reasons to knock the Legends brand, they’re actually why it should be held in immense regard. By the time Mega Man Legends came to the PlayStation in 1997, Mega Man was already ten years old. It was time to give it a truly fresh coat of paint to come with the newer and more powerful console generation.

The biggest change with Legends was by far its introduction of an actual story that threaded from one game to the next. You play as the aforementioned Mega Man Volnutt, a young man discovered in a ruin by supporting characters Roll Caskett and her grandfather Barrell. (Side note: Volnutt is named after Roll’s favorite video game character, which means that by the time Legends exists within the chronological Mega Man universe, the original Blue Bomber was already a virtual star. This is never addressed but it’s a fun little nod). Volnutt is raised as a Digger, people who search through abandoned ruins for hidden treasure. The story of both Legends and Legends 2 follows Mega Man as he explores new areas filled with robotic enemies, uncovers plots to destroy humankind, and learns more about his mysterious past. Along the way he battles the troublesome Bonne Family of Tron, Baby, and Teisel, thieves that want all the riches for themselves. Their popularity is what lead to The Misadventures of Tron Bonne.

See? Completely different than anything that came before and has since come after. You could customize Volnutt with new armor, blaster enhancements, and awesome side arms like missile launchers, a massive drill, and an ultra-powerful laser beam. With a whole plethora of side quests and extra material, Legends was more like The Legend of Zelda than anything else. It was the best way for Capcom to bring their most popular character to new heights. Yet citing an apparent lack of “fan demand,” the story of Mega Man Volnutt was left dangling on a massive cliffhanger with Mega Man Legends 2. I kid you not, he was left on a moon like place called Elysium with the Caskett’s and Bonne’s getting the currently final words of the series, claiming that they will get Volnutt back. He’s been stuck there for 15 years.MMLegends2Box

This almost changed 5 years ago. In November 2010, Capcom showed that they had listened to fan demand and was creating a Mega Man Legends 3 for the Nintendo 3DS.  This news was met with near universal jubilation. Not a single fan thought it was a bad idea. The next several months were a flurry of news on the title. It was going to feature new protagonists named Aero and Barret. Fans were given a big say on how Volnutt would look after he got off Elysium. Development progress was documented on an online dev room. Morale was clearly very high, and franchise creator Keiji Inafune, a documented fan of Legends, was ready to give people what they wanted for so many years.

Then Inafune left Capcom. He promised that development would continue without him, but in July 2011, Capcom complete shut everything down. Mega Man Legends 3 was not coming. Fans have continued to beg and plead, but it has fallen on deaf ears. To make matters worse, the stopping of Legends 3 was part of a bigger string of cancellations that made it look like Capcom no longer cared. Now Mega Man as a franchise is in a state of limbo. At least every other game finally reached the same status as Legends.

I’m still upset that Legends 3 isn’t coming, even though I’ve accepted that several years ago. The Mega Man Legends series is by far my favorite of the entire Mega Man franchise. What really attracted me to the game was how fun it looked. The cover art didn’t feature the main character in a life or death struggle with enemy robots. It had Mega Man Volnutt with a calm smirk, easily showcasing the series’ lighthearted tone. That’s the type of vibe I was really attracted to, and I found myself playing the game constantly, simply to enjoy the humor. It also helped that the gameplay was incredible. To me, this is Mega Man at its best. A fun game that is both difficult and accessible, and a heck of a lot of fun to play.

The Misadventures of Tron Bonne re-release is likely not a sign of future news. I don’t expect Capcom to suddenly turn around with a library of new Mega Man games ready to wow the public. I’ll be shocked if this even remotely reignites discussions for Legends 3. Yet it’s still a very good thing. It shows that Capcom hasn’t entirely shunted the concept, willing to keep it alive in any manner, regardless of how small. Who knows. Maybe the stars will align someday, causing Capcom to open its eyes and realize there’s still a story left to tell. Or they might not, because why would any company do something for the fans?

Oh well. All we can do now is start at the beginning. Send Mega Man Volnutt through that first ruin once again, putting him on his path to Elysium where he is destined to stay.

Luke Kalamar is Pop-Break.com’s television editor. Every Saturday afternoon you can read his retro video game column, Remembering the Classics. He covers Game of Thrones, Saturday Night Live and The Walking Dead (amongst others) every week. As for as his career and literary standing goes — take the best parts of Spider-man, Captain America and Luke Skywalker and you will fully understand his origin story.


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