Read it! Pronto!

Meet the N1's Grand Pricks
By Havoc (Punk)

Okay, as we start our heroes are.... Hell, first you have to sit through a sappy cutscene where we see why Chaud is such a jerk. It seems he wasn't hugged enough as a kid. Aww... such a pity. Anyway, on to the Action! Wait, I guess not. First it seems before all this, you gotta go find the gang to see if they're interested in a pre-tourney Beach Area get-together. In the real world, it would be convenient to contact them online, but in this game that means trudging through the cyberworld fighting viruses so strangely enough it would be faster to go to each of their houses to talk to them in person. So wouldn't you know it but all of their doors are suddenly locked! Guess that means you have to jack in after all.

Pfft. You don't have a name.
Before going online, you may want to make your rounds in the real world. Get caught up on the new stuff ready for the new chapter, like two more Request Board postings. You can now buy chocolates for potential Number Trader codes at the Snack bar in Yoka Station. You can also jack into the Giraffe's EduComp for a StepSword N. If you have a FireSword P, you can trade it to a guy standing outside the Inn for an IceStage *. Finally, the first of this game's quiz guys, Mr.Quiz can be found hanging out in the inn hallway. The answers for those that need them are 3, Met, 9, 380, and 3 again. You win a RegUp3.

Now jack in from Lan's, go to Mayl's Homepage and talk to Roll. Looks like she can't go, can she? Shopping for CDs is more important. Next go to Yai's homepage. Wow, what a coincedence, Glyde says she can't go either due to Yai's studying. Noticing a pattern here? Then go to Dex's Homepage. Looks like there's just a Prog here. Talk to it and find that Gutsman is out at the water heater in Yoka1. Since he's busy taking part in an endurance contest that involves standing in one place as long as possible, he probably won't be too keen on moving to go spend the day with Rock. Well, you gotta go hear it from him in person anyway.

On your way there, you could check out the current state of the net for this chapter by talking to the NPCs, checking the message boards, etc. There's a navi in SciLab Square that can transfer you the Preliminary Folder from last chapter if you ever want it back. You can also fight Bubbleman's ghost by going to a dead-end on a compression rail in the BugTrader's part of Yoka1. It's the dead-end farthest to the right.

Make your way to the water heater in Yoka1 to talk to Guts. Maybe he can go...nope. He's too busy sweating. What a lousy excuse that one is. After touching base with all three of MM's buddies, he gets an e-mail from DNN. Well, now that you have the Beach Cybermetro pass, what shall we do? You may think to use it, but if you want to dominate with a merciless iron fist you shall go to Higsby's chip shop and spend all your zenny on strong powerful chips to rip your opponents up and feed them to the dogs! THE DARKLORD DECREES IT AND SO IT IS DONE!!! Oh...sorry about that. I get a little worked up when it comes to total domination of foes. Anyway, once you have a folder that will smash all of your opponents into little tiny crumbs, it's time to use the Beach pass. Go to the nearest Cybermetro, and choose to go to Beach Area.

Once there, it is time again to engage in the following of a yellow brick road (more orange in this case). Don't bother going to Beach1 yet, as you'll be sent there officially soon enough. I think the signs here are intentionally misleading. The second one says the Square is "straight ahead". Sure, if "straight ahead" means to the right and you ignore the impassable wall of conveyor panels preventing you from reaching it the easy way. When you reach the stairs, ignore the bit of orange path leading past them, as it directs you right over another conveyor panel that puts you back at the start of the area *shudder*. At the bottom of the stairs, head west first to grab the Recov50 G chip and check out the SubChips dealer. Then go back and follow the orange again (there's not much to see to the south in the lower area yet, just an Undernet bouncer that won't let you pass until you have the "Tally"). The street ends at one of those infernal compression rails. If you don't have the Press in the Navicust, do it now fatty (Although a properly trained warlord navi such as Punk could jump that gap with ease). At least this rail is shorter than the ones in Yoka. Make sure to get the RegUp3 here hidden under the upper walkway. Don't slip over the conveyor platform at the end of the rail, and take the shortwarp to the upper platform beyond that wall of conveyors. You're finally in the Square.

Rioting Netbattle Fans? WOOOHOOO, it's owning time..
Check the BBS, buy stuff from both the NetDealer and the Program Dealer (try to get that Fish program soon, it'll be pretty very useful in a couple chapters), and if you feel inclined, play Simon Says with the guy next to the Program Dealer. This time it's 90 correct button presses in a minute for 5 BugFrags. Compared to the Yoka version, that's 5 times the payoff for just 1.5 times the effort, that's better, but still more annoying than just plain Virus Busting and Countering. When you're ready, talk to the Yellow Navi from DNN. After some black screen passage of time, Gutsman will join the party just in time for the big interview. However more important matters quickly take hold.

Now it's time to head to Beach1. Exit the Square and shortcut over the conveyors and head around the upper walkway to the exit on the southwest side.

There, you quickly find a poor sap who doesn't know who he's messing with. What? A stupid Virus Bomb? What kinda crappy rioters are these people? While making your way to the central platform you'll have to go through three of these guys and their viral entourage.

White VersionBlue Version
  1. Deetle, Deetle, Trumpy.
  2. Shrimpy2, Shrimpy2, Trumpy.
  3. Swordy2, Swordy3, Trumpy.
  1. Met2, Met2, Tuby.
  2. Cannodumb2, Boomer, Tuby.
  3. Swordy, Swordy, Tuby.

Obviously the theme here is the Trumpies/Tubies. They shouldn't be very difficult anyway. You can pick up a Charge+1 near the second guy. Try to follow the direct path otherwise (can be difficult in the runaround-prone Beach Area).

Sad and depressed from all the crazy Ameropeans, head to the middle section to catch up with Guts and the film crew. Looks like a three-on-one battle. That's the way I like it! What...Chaud and Protoman are butting in? Why those little... pompous jerks snipe the kill, steal the glory, and brush everyone else off with the typical attitude. Guess doing the same thing with Bubbleman wasn't enough to convince the player ol' Blues still passes as "main rival" even though he's done nothing but lose to MM in the past. In the cutscene that follows, even Wily is focusing all his murderous rage on Chaud. Lan would be devastated if he heard that. Seems the next confident WWW operative has big plans for the N1.

Afterwards, Lan has to talk to his mommy. Seems like he's supposed to be her errand boy bitch. At this point you get an e-mail from Mayl announcing her own shortcut to Yoka Square. The gang's houses are all unlocked again too. Well anyway, go to Scilab and talk to the left scientist in Hikari's lab to pass on the disk, then head back down the elevator to run into Dr.Hikari himself. The old man is still too busy to watch his son in NetBattling tournament action, but makes up for it with pointless gifts. You'll get a PET case. I wonder why you'd need something hard for your PET. Hmmm...Is that foreshadowing I smell? Oops, nope. Looks like I burnt my pizza. Damn. Anyway, go home, go to sleep, and let Lan dream about how his unfulfilled day could have been better.

Now rise and shine, slacker. The N1 is today, and you need to go there to FINALLY ENJOY TOTAL DOMINATION AND SWEET SWEET VICTORY!! Nothing new to see in other areas besides a guy hiding in the zoo that'll give you an error code. What's an error code? You'll find out when you get to Beach Street and talk to the blonde guy hanging out just outside the station. For 5600Z you can buy the ModTools from him. Once you have these, press Select after the NaviCust does a Run and you can enter special codes that will either remove an error from using an incompatible block, or add an extra effect on top of the ones you've successfully installed, buuut with bugs. Some of these codes are hidden throughout the game, like with that guy in the zoo. A lot of them however, you're either going to have to crack yourself, or get them from a walkthrough (like this one, whenever we get the secret data section set up...)

"Oh yeah? What did you draw your spiral-beard with, crayon?"
Explore Beach Street a bit. You can jack into the van for an HP+100 and some battles with Ratty2 and Shaker. Then head inside the TV station. Seems they want you to wait in the lobby for now, so go talk to all the people. You'd think the guy in the ridiculous costume would have something interesting to say, but he doesn't. The only important character right now is the arrogant kid in front of the big screen that wants to teach you "some". Looks like it's time to show him and his little "some" how they fare against us.

Arrogant Upstart Battle: Kingman.exe
HP= 800
Speed= slow
Defense= cover
Movement= teleports in far right column infrequently, only when MM is in the same row.
Special Field= Two Pawns in top/bottom left corners of enemy side, Knight in center. Pieces and placements change when "Plan B" is used.
Objects= Pawn(5 HP, shielded, regenerates), Knight(100 HP, shielded, regenerates), Rook(200 HP, shielded, regenerates)
Attacks= Pawn(30), Knight(50), Checkmate(50), Plan B(Removes chess pieces and replaces with them with a new set of three in a preset formation. May also use AreaGrab before placing the new set)

Kinda like Bubbleman in that he hides in the back and lets his annoying objects do all the work. The Knight is the worst as it keeps you on the move. The Pawns are pretty slow, but don't get caught off guard. You can avoid damage easily by remaining out of their longsword least until Kingman responds to that strategy by using a Plan B that incorporates AreaGrab to move the Pawns closer. For a temporary solution against the chess pieces, use breaking attacks, or trick them into moving onto a StoneCube. They'll break, but will regenerate after a few seconds. At least in those few seconds the pieces won't block your direct attacks, so you can shoot over them to hit their master. If you repeatedly break them, Kingman will try another Plan B that summons two Knights to do all the attacking and leaves out the Pawn in favor of a Rook that will follow in front of him blocking your direct attacks. If you try to Punch/Airshot a Pawn in the first phase of the battle, or trick a Knight into jumping into a hole, then Kingman responds with a very aggressive Plan B of two Knights and a Pawn. Use piercing attacks, bombs, and AreaGrabs to trip up his precious strategies. He won't use the Checkmate move unless MM is low enough on health to be killed by it, hence the name. The placement of the pieces to restrict your movement during Checkmate may vary, but there's usually at least one spot you could move to avoid the cross-shaped hit where he lands. 1000Z for winning, or you could lose and the plot will still progress, but with a more humiliating tone...

*Gasp!* Someone remembers!
Wow, what a sissy. And he thinks he's good? Anyway, after you defeat Kingman, they're ready for you on stage, so head further in the building. Examine the props along the wall halfway down the hallway for a RegUp1. Then go through to the stage and watch all the other cannon fodder get introduced. There's Lan, Tora, the mysterious "Q", and five generics lucky enough to get names for once, one of them is even Koetsu, the guy on the message boards who's all about awesome technique. Yeah, we're still not feeling the least bit threatened by any of these losers.

After the ceremony, check the e-mail for your first Memory Map Expansion for the NaviCust and rework your NaviCust setup accordingly. Now it's off to Hades Isle. Sounds like a REAL Battleground we got here! Get on the boat outside, wait for the black screen of to indicate the passage of time, then...wait a minute...they changed our Total Domination Folder! How dare they! Damn, looks like we just have to rely on our kick-ass battling skills. Before proeceeding into the "Demon's Maw", make sure to grab the HPMemory from the crab crawling on the rock beside the ramp to the ship. Nothing to see up the mountain yet. Inside, the eight D-Block contestants are put through the first elimination round: find a piece of data in Hades Area.

While it would have been amusing and realistic to see Kingman and the other navis scrambling out the gates, for the sake of the game designers' laziness Tora, Jennifer, and Q somehow manage to find their VictoryDatas and jack out in the time it takes Lan to jack in (maybe it's because he spends so much time shouting his catchphrase, jumping up in the air, and creating that lensflare effect for no reason). The remaining four navis besides MM are either wandering back and forth aimlessly or standing perfectly still, so you obviously don't have to worry about competition from them. Just get the remaining VictoryData without being deleted in random virus battles along the way, which may be easier said than done with this crappy folder they stuck us with. You'll have to deal with lava panels in these battles, which can be used to your advantage if you lure the Deetles into them. There are a lot of fire type viruses as well so at least you have a few Aqua chips in the folder. Kill the Momogras with a sword or BodyBurn when they pop up behind you or crush them with a CannonBall or Gutsman.

It seems weird that this folder that everyone in the competition is using for this round contains chips based on Gutsman and Roll, but then again there's a lot of battlechips that have Megaman's picture on them, and evidently three of the 32 best NetBattlers from all over the world just happen to be in Ms.Mari's classroom and nobody thinks that's an odd coincidence so I guess we just accept the world revolves around the main characters and move on. Yeah.

Go to the right first, over the wires, and make your way to the far north platform to pick up the all-important HadesKey. After that, shortcut back to the start by jacking out, then back in. Now run down the stairs and follow the trail around until you get to a Barrier. Hmmm...looks like that HadesKey just served its purpose. Head south past here to find....A BlkBomb1 P! At last another peice of data with which you can crush your meager foes mercilessly! But what exactly is a "Blk" bomb...? Is it a Bulk bomb? A BareLyKilleable bomb? Hmmm....oh. Oops. Turns out it's the Black Bomb. I still like BareLyKillable bomb though. Anyway, run straight up the wires to find the VictData! Looks like it's time to see which sissies get eliminated. Say goodbye to Koetsu, Yosh, Bonzu, and Johnson. Such significant and memorable characters...who get shot down a FIERY HOLE OF DOOM FOR THEIR INFIDELTY!!!

Up the path to the next challenge, you have to pick a doorway. No matter which one you choose, you must fight Tamako, but the type of battlefield will vary. The door on the left is the "Blazing Inferno" (lava panels), next to it is the "Desert Pit" (sand), then the "Arctic Pit" (ice), and on the far right is the "Amazon Pit" (grass). I'd save right now, and examine your fighting arena choices, but there's not much advantage to be had based on your Style alone, and based on the Hades Folder and Metalman's attack pattern, you'll probably want the door on the right.

Grand Prix Battle: Metalman.exe α
HP= 800
Speed= slow
Defense= armor
Movement= random teleport
Special Field= Metal Gears slowly move back and forth across middle row on both sides of the field. Inferno - Lava panels in corners on each side. Desert - All panels are sand. Arctic - All panels are ice. Amazon - All panels are grass.
Objects= Metal Gear(50 HP, shielded)
Attacks= Metal Missiles(40x5), Metal Blade(40), Metal Fist(80, breaks panel, quake effect), Metal Gears(20)

Metalman flies, so he's not bothered by any of these panels directly. If you're a Heat Style, lava panels won't bother you but there's nothing you can do to turn them to your advantage, likewise for the ice panels if you're an Aqua Style. The ice could be used to boost elec attacks, but that's just one chip in this stupid folder plus a measly Zapring if you're Elec Style. Unless you managed to score some FloatShoes, the sand will slow you down no matter what and we know Metalman keeps you moving. There are no chips in the folder that will let you take advantage of the sand either. That leaves the grass. Even if you're not a Wood or Heat Style, there are plenty of Fire-elemental chips in the folder to let you get a quick fight out of this. Of course if you don't like any of the panels you could crack them all with a Gutsman, but that might not make things any easier. As for Metalman himself, he's upgraded his repertoire with the occasional MetalFist strike, which could prove annoying as it pops up right when you least expect it and then you have less room to manever until the hole heals. He fires more missiles too so you'd better get their timing down. There's nothing in the folder that'll let you get rid of the gear on your side of the field so prepare for some pain. At least you don't have to worry about Busting Level or anything, there's no reward.

So it's true: some video games DO encourage violence!
After the battle, you have 3 minutes to find someone with a folder you want. Everyone outside you talk to will make a point of rambling on to eat up time and annoy you whether they actually have a folder to give you or not. Cut the jibba-jabba foo! The scientist just outside the doors has N1FolderC, which you might think is the worst because it's the easiest to find, but for the next battle it is actually ideal. The guy at the top of the ramp as well as the girl outside have nothing and are just there to waste your time. The fan down near the console has N1FolderB which has weak attack capabilities, but makes up for it with a lot of * codes. The moron at the shore next to the boat has N1FolderD which is pretty much the worst of the offerings here because half of it is random chips with random codes making it even more cumbersome than the HadesFolder, and speaking of which you can get another copy of the HadesFolder from the conductor next to the statues up the mountain. The last folder lies at the top of the mountain. There stands FolderBoy, and with this cheat sheet you can easily win his folder.
Question 1: 100 L of water.
Question 2: Zoo Boss
Question 3: Yasu
Question 4: AquaGuts
Question 5: Cannball.
N1FolderA has strong attack capabilities with two PAs, some 2nd level chips, three navi chips, and a VarSword which can let you win the battle in almost one move if you have the 4xElem button combo down. The only downside is the abundance of codes which will slow you down unless you're lucky and get one of the powerful combos early on.

Now, you gotta run back through the passage you came, and see who all made it to the quarterfinals. Well, lets see. Dex, Chaud, Tora, Q, Raoul, Masa.....Yai? How the heck did she win? Well, anyway, now it's time to show your true strength and crush Gutsman like an aluminum can. Fun Fun Fun!

N1 Grand Prix Quarter-Final Battle: Gutsman.exe α
HP= 700
Speed= medium
Defense= normal
Movement= random teleport
Attacks= Hammer Wave(40), Guts Punch(60), Area Crack(cracks panels)

This is the same version of Gutsman that you fought when Chisao first arrived in town. Two chapters ago he was a bit advanced, but by now he should be a pushover. As with the last battle there's no Busting Level screen, so don't be afraid to get messy. If you kept HadesFolder or got the D folder then this could drag on for a while. The A folder has enough power to finish things in just a couple well-placed attacks. The C Folder seems to be tailor-made for this fight though. The principal combo in there involves the Panel/AreaGrabs, then the panel breaking chips (though with Gutsman you just have to wait until he uses Area Crack) then the Snakes with Atk+10 and/or Wood+30 for what could very well be a kill with just one attack.

After that easy battle, you see Yai and that weird guy...Q's battle. Seems he plays dirty, but it works and he's in the semis along with Tora, Chaud, and Lan. Re-equip your own folder, leave the forsaken rock, board the ferry back to Beach Street, and return to the stuido.

Talk to the guy in front of the kiosk for a gift from your mysterious bearded friend, the BreakCharge NaviCust part and the code that'll allow you to use it. Nearby is Tamako. Seems she wants to fight again to give you a warm-up for the next round. Well, she's at the same level...except now you've got your folder back and the panels are all normal. Hell Yeah! It's Domination Time! Just see the section above for Metal's vitals and substitute your own strategy for beating him. For kicks, you may want to install that BreakCharge part you just got and use your charge attack to wipe his precious gears off the field at the beginning. You'll get the MetalmanV2 chip for winning AND Tamako will hand over her code so you can access Yoka Area jacking into her shop.

Before you can enter the studio, you gotta talk to Ribitta then go look for Chaud outside down by the traffic cones. Seems he's having a moody moment looking out over the ocean and Lan has to be the one to interrupt it. He wants his reasons for competing to remain mysterious but it's obvious to us by this point that he wants his daddy's love. He asks Lan what his motivation for winning is and you have to admit his answer lacks finesse. "Because I entered" might as well just say "Because I'm the main character and winning advances the plot." Now we can head back to the studio.

Semi-Finals time: Lan vs. Tora. We'll leave out the battle section again because it's still the exact same version you fought earlier, only this time losing is not an option. Now you have BreakCharge which might make it easier to keep his Pawns down and probably force him to switch to his Rook plan sooner. No Busting Level screen, no reward.

After you beat him, you see he's not quite as much of a jerk as you thought he was. Still a jerk, but less so. As the battle between Q and Chaud starts, Lan is called outside to meet Dex and Mayl who deliver the grim news of Yai's concussion. Sweet old Lan is about to blow off the finals to go see her in the hospital until she calls to let everyone know she's fine and that Lan should go win that thing for her (hey, it's a better reason than the one Lan gave Chaud earlier). Before heading back in to watch the battle, you can talk to Dex to fight Gutsman as another warm-up. Dex claims it's "not the same Gutsman as before", but he lies. It's the same version you fought in the Quarter-Finals and in Chapter 2, only this time you can use your own up-to-date folder and win a second GutsmanV2 chip (assuming you beat him in Chapter 2, otherwise it's your first).

Now, go see Chaud and Q's battle....Hmmm, no wonder Q has an advantage. He's Sunayama AND a WWW agent. I swear, anyone can be a WWW agent these days for 10 bucks. He's got a nefarious scheme in play that involves humiliating the world's greatest NetBattlers to make everyone fear the WWW. Y'know, because being good at NetBattles means you don't have to worry about real-world threats either. It would be funny if the police just came in and cuffed him right now, or how about the studio audience swarming the stage and tackling him since he just publicly threatened everyone? Guess not, those people seem like cardboard cutouts that cheer. Sunayama gets away to the editing room and Chaud and Lan set off in pursuit. Buuut what's the rush? You have a chance to jack into the netbattle console and pick up the FireRatton H chip inside.

Why isn't this an option more often?
Now up the elevator in the hall and follow the path to the editing room. Looks like Chaud is about to hand over his PET to save his father, when suddenly Lan gets an idea. He decides to intervene and give Sunayama Megaman's PET...right upside the head. Hell Yeah! Physical violence seems like such an efficient problem solver compared to NetBattling. Not that it gets us out of the boss fight of course.

WWW Navi Battle: Desertman.exe
HP= 800
Speed= slow
Defense= cover
Movement= random teleport in the two rightmost columns when hit, hands slide up and down left column to line up with Megaman
Special Field= Enemy's side is all Sand Panels, two Hands occupy left enemy column, Pillars begin in top/bottom right corners and are replaced/repositioned when Desertman moves.
Objects= Hand(40 HP, regenerates), Pillar(50 HP)
Attacks= Lion Head(40), Whirlsand(40), SandStone(60, quake effect)

What's with all the dang navis that hide behind stuff? The head has all the HP and it doesn't do anything but sit in the back. When the head gets hit it ducks underground and pops up somewhere else, normally foiling your attempts to hit him with a multi-hit attack like Tornado (which by the way does double damage on the sand panels so pack 'em if you got 'em). You can momentarily stop him from ducking out with a paralyzing attack, or better yet use an Aqua elemental attack to get him soggy. The pillars he surrounds himself with are little more than a nuisance. At least you can break them with regular attacks, unlike Kingman's pieces. Most of the attacks come from his hands. You could block Lion Head with a StoneCube or hole, or better yet just smash them. If a hand can't line up with MM, it'll try to crush you as a block falling from above. I'd say "keep moving", but that makes you more likely to fall into the third hazard, the occasional Whirlsand pit that appears in two random panels in your area at a time. It may be best to just destroy the hands so you don't have to move around much. They'll always be in that column even when they're destroyed (they regenerate quickly) so if you want to AreaGrab your way closer to Desert, you'll only get one of the three panels, which should be good enough. Hit him with Bubblers followed by Tornado and this battle should be easy compared to some of the others during this tournament. You get 2500Z for winning.

Once you defeat him, the bad guy gets put away, the tournament gets cancelled, and everyone goes home wondering who would have won between Lan and Chaud (Spoiler: it would be Lan, as always). Wily gets crotchety over the matter, but then again it's not like this was part of his main objective. What was that again? Oh yeah, TetraCodes. Once he collects the set, they will allow him to resurrect "The Beast". For the next one he dispatches his most fearsome operative yet, a radical environmentalist in a nurse's uniform named Anetta.

"And as soon as I have all the letters of the alphabet, all will tremble before the might of Dr.Wil."

Now we must leave you. May the force be with you.

~Havoc and Raijin


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