In an act that can only be described as “on brand”, I consider Mega Man Legends to be my favorite in the entire franchise. Not that I consider the other games inferior, mind you; in fact I adore the first few X entries and have always had a soft spot for Battle Network. There’s just something about Legends that I find so mesmerizing upon revisiting. The art direction is stellar and holds strong to this day, and this is easily my favorite cast of characters in any of the games thanks to the sheer amount of charm ingrained within the game’s writing.
There’s one particular area in Legend’s opening hours, however, that has always maintained a lingering presence in my mind ever since I first rented the game at Blockbuster all those years ago.
Not too long after crash landing on Kattelox Island, MegaMan is tasked with finding parts to repair their ship. This leads the player to the Apple Market, a shopping district filled to the brim with little shops and NPCs to converse with. A lot of these areas don’t serve any major practical purpose outside of the upgrades you can purchase from the Junk Shop and a side quest involving taking lipstick to a museum curator, but I really don’t think everything has to serve some kind of mechanical purpose. This little marketplace is exceptionally cozy and makes for a wonderful slice of downtime. The music that accompanies this area is similarly comfy, if not a little repetitive, but it is basically a mall so a little muzak is appropriate here.
Really though, I just love the record store, because of course I do. You can listen to samples of different music genres! In the Japanese version you can listen to this song which whips absolute ass. There’s an NPC that asks you if you’ve ever listened to Gregorian chants, I mean come on. This game owns.
Clothing stores, electronic goods, a bakery, and more fill out the rest of the marketplace, and each one of them feel distinct from one another. It really gives this one little zone a life of its own, and I value that a lot. As a matter of fact it’s something that I continue to value in the games I play. I love a little bit of quiet time to wander around and explore, especially if it’s a town or a marketplace. Chatting it up with the locals, playing minigames, spending some hard-earned cash; I fucking love just hanging out in a game’s world for a little bit and smelling the roses before continuing my journey. Hyrule Castle Town also comes to mind, and don’t get me started on Dragon Quest XI’s towns right now this is supposed to be a short article!
Anyway, I’ll wrap it up here. I just wanted to take a moment to highlight a slice of a game that I really love, and I might continue to do so in the future with other games. There are a lot of Certified Jarsh.Zone Moments out there, after all.