Last Sunday… 5:30AM, I had to make a decision: either go to sleep and probably miss out on Mega Man’s birthday bash or push on for an extra few hours and catch Capcom’s event. I decided on the latter and I went to Sunshine City, waiting in line with a bottle of Jasmine tea in hand.
There was a line, a rather large line before I could get in. You can't see it here, but the line continues inside the building and up a small flight of stairs.
Inside the exhibition hall guests were immediately greeted by Megaman, Rush, Servbot (Kobun) and Data. It’s hard to see in the picture, but the Servbot has a Game Boy Advance strapped inside him.
There was a wall detailing every release in the history of Mega Man starting with the Famicom game. A few titles were playable and the first installment had a long line of people waiting to show off their skills. Capcom also brought some of the more obscure games in Mega Man’s series like two arcade machines with Rockman: The Power Fighters 1 & 2, Rockman’s Soccer and Rockman: Battle & Chase. I didn’t see a playable version of Rockboard there though!
The highlight of the event was browsing all the concept art. There were pictures of the original Mega Man, X, Dash, Zero and EXE versions of Rockman to see. Since I figured most people reading this wouldn’t be able to attend, I tried to snap photos of the framed art. They’re up in this Flickr gallery, but the photos aren’t great. The fluorescent lights reflected off the glass frames and I had to shove my way between people to get the shots.
Underneath the art Capcom had a plethora of boxed Mega Man games and merchandise. While I was glancing at the X figures, I noticed a large crowd converging at a display case on the other side. I had to see what they were looking at. To my surprise, it was a section with the US and European versions of the games. In retrospect this makes sense. While we're accustomed to the awkward NES Mega Man box art, this may have been the first time gamers in Japan have seen it in person. I found myself gazing at the Europe's minimalist box art.
I waded through the crowd to pass the main stage (pictured above) to see an hour and half wait to play Mega Man: Star Force 2 (pictured below). I passed on the wait since a demo station with the game is near my place. Instead I walked to the next corner where a TV was running all of the Mega Man commercials in order. I got there at the start of the cycle and sat down for the show, which was around a half an hour.
In the center there was a massive, roped off line. I guessed this might be for autographs, but it was actually to purchase the limited edition merchandise. I got there way too late to get in, which meant I wasn’t going to take a Rockman 20th Anniversary track jacket home with me. Ah… that's too bad I really wanted one even though I probably wouldn't wear it often.
There were other events too like a sand art section and a stand with copies of Mega Man manga. However, the majority of the people at the party were waiting in line or securing a seat near the stage. Since I wasn’t waiting to purchase any special items and I haven’t slept yet I decided it was time to take the train home. But not before doing sand art! Oh… but that didn’t happen either. There was a 30 minute wait for that too.
Happy birthday Rockman!