Re(?)Considered: Mega Man Legends 2
Capcom's beloved sequel holds a shameful secret
Mega Man Legends 2 was my first PS2 game. Admittedly this may seem a little silly; it is, after all, not a PS2 game. But I never had a PlayStation, so when I finally saved up my paper round money for a PS2 I had to do some catching up. PlayStation games were a lot cheaper then, so for the price of a single game for the new console, I was able to get Final Fantasies VII and IX, as well as taking a complete gamble on the subject of today's essay, Mega Man Legends 2.
Having grown up playing Mega Man titles on friends' NES consoles as well as developing what could comfortably be described as "obsessive fandom" via the auld "Mega Man BB", I was prepared to buy any title in the series more or less sight unseen. It's Mega Man, how could it be bad? Obviously I hadn't played Mega Man X3 yet. Oh, don't upset, it's an awful game. Just accept it.
Anyway, armed with my PlayStation 1 bounty I had a ball, and while it took a while for me to really put time into Mega Man Legends 2 - I had Zone of the Enders and its included Metal Gear Solid 2 demo monopolising my time - I did indeed get into it, and found it a compelling, enjoyable slice of third-person anime fun. Unfortunately, that's where the wholesomeness of this recollection ends.
In order to understand the effect Mega Man Legends 2 had on me, one needs to understand that I was fourteen years old. And boys of fourteen have... enthusiasms. Dormant enthusiasms, waiting to be awoken by even the most innocuous triggers. The point is... look, this is embarrassing. There's no graceful way to discuss this matter, so I'm just going to blurt it out. Mega Man Legends 2 contains a nude lady.
I'm talking bare. Starkers. Not a stitch on. A fully undressed woman. Clothes-wise there is absolutely nothing to report. What I'm trying to say here is, this game has implied sexual characteristics, the likes of which I wouldn't see again until Soulcalibur 2's life-ruining bonus image galleries. The scene of Sera emerging from her imprisonment was, as you may imagine, forever imprinted on my developing mind. Look, you don't seem to understand. You could see her arse. As a heterosexual 14 year-old boy this was not a trifling matter.
Looking back, the whole game seems to be troublingly horny. There's the scene where Mega Man walks in on Roll while she's bathing, and the scene where Tron Bonne's clothing burns off and leaves her in the scud. None of this is remotely atypical of anime, but it's rather atypical of the PlayStation 1, particularly in the West. I'm surprised this stuff made it to our consoles, frankly. Is any of it explicit? No, of course not, but it's still unusual for what's otherwise pitched as very much a kid-friendly saturday morning cartoon.
Since the still-raw cancellation of Mega Man Legends 3, the series seems as dead as ever. I suspect the best we can hope for is a Mega Man Legends Legacy Collection, featuring both main titles and the excellent spin-off The Misadventures of Tron Bonne. All three games are on the PS3 in all their glorious anime-esque glory, but I'd love to see them get a proper upscale and tweaked controls.
Sorry for going on about the nudity so much. But if you weren't there, you don't know. You weren't me. And Mega Man X3 still sucks, so there.