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- "A PET is great, but it's only as great as it's user."
- —Civilian of Central Town, Mega Man Battle Network 6
The Personal Terminal or PET, (pronounced "pet" in the original Japanese version of the anime and "P-E-T" in the English version) is an electronic handheld device that plays an important role in the Mega Man Battle Network series of video games, anime and manga (the latter two of which are known as MegaMan NT Warrior outside Japan). The PET was invented by Dr. Tadashi Hikari, grandfather of series protagonist Lan Hikari. Various PET models appear throughout all three versions of the series (video games, anime, and manga) in a wide variety of colors and styles. Their successors are Transers.
Basic Functions and Design
A PET is essentially a more advanced PDA device. It enables a user to make phone calls, send E-mail, store and use electronic money (known as "zenny") and access the Internet wirelessly. It also houses a "Network Navigator", or NetNavi (or simply, "Navi"), an artificial intelligence program that interacts with the user (known as the NetNavi's "Operator" or "NetOp" in the English anime and manga, although it can operate without one). Other than operating the PET's main functions, the NetNavi is capable to exit the PET by "jacking-in" to electronic devices to investigate or explore the cyber network within it (known as "plugging-in" in Japan). "Jack-in" ("plug-in") is frequently said by human characters when connecting their PETs to a machine. PETs are used for personal convenience as well as machinery maintenance.
The PETs are often modeled after real-life devices, such as handheld gaming consoles or MP3 players. Usually, there is a screen with two or three buttons, a device for jacking-in, and a slot for Battle Chips. Earlier models were larger with more obstructing features, but subsequent models would become smaller, sleeker, and more simple, limiting most interactivity to the NetNavi or via (in later models) touch screen technology.
The PET is also very vital during the anime-exclusive Cross Fusion technique. During the fusion of Operators/NetOps with their NetNavis, the PET becomes the central power source for the transformation, stored within the NetNavi's unique symbol crest (which is usually located on the human's chest). If this crest is attacked directly or completely destroyed, the fusion will deteriorate, and the PET can suffer serious damage.
There were five different types of PET's, with two upgrades of one model. The PET model is often updated or redesigned all together between subsequent game entries, anime series, and manga story arcs, each with its own unique functions and uses. While Yuichiro Hikari often aids in the production of PETs, it is Ijuin Enzan/Eugene Chaud/Chaud Blaze's father's company, IPC (known as BlazeQuest in the English anime) that produces and distributes the various PET models.
The first two Mega Man Battle Network video-games used the original model simply known as the "PET." It was designed with a flip-open laptop-esque screen with its own keyboard (a feature unique to this PET), and it was held by a handle along the bottom (resembling the shape of a sign board on a post). It uses a retractable cord to jack-in. Though this PET did not appear in the anime, it appeared in early concept art. It is also used in the game Rockman.EXE Operate Shooting Star.
The second version of the PET originally appeared in the original 56-episodes of the MegaMan NT Warrior (Rockman.EXE) anime series. It later appeared in Mega Man Battle Network 3 and made appearances in the spin-off titles Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge, Mega Man Network Transmission, and Rockman.EXE WS.
It has a sleeker design. It is squarish with rounded edges and a larger piece attached to the bottom left corner as a grip. Like the original PET, it features a retractable cord for jacking-in. Most of the PETs are a light-blue color, but some characters have uniquely-colored PETs.
Introduced in Mega Man Battle Network 4, this PET was also used in the 51-episode MegaMan NT Warrior Axess anime series. This model was designed more like a flip-open cellular phone, and as such can be conventionally used as one. A sliding piece along the bottom would cause the screen to open, revealing a button interface. There is also a small handle piece along the right side to hold the PET more sturdily. This PET introduced a new method of wirelessly jacking-in through the use of infrared lasers in the anime. This PET came in many unique colors representative of various characters. A message board in Mega Man Battle Network 4 states that they were designed by Dr. Hikari and Mr. Famous.
Advanced PET II
The PET was subsequently updated for the Japanese-exclusive title Rockman.EXE 4.5 Real Operation and was also featured in the MegaMan NT Warrior Axess anime. This PET is merely an aesthetic update in the games, but in the anime, it enhances Lan's Cross Fusion abilities. Lan is the only character to receive an Advanced PET II in the anime. Lan began using this PET in episode 34 and used it until episode 3 of Rockman.EXE Stream.
With Mega Man Battle Network 5 (and the 51-episode Rockman.EXE Stream anime series), the Progress PET (also known as the PET III) was introduced. This PET returns to a design similar to the anime/third game PET with a wider design, and somewhat resembles a traditional Game Boy Advance, PSP, flat faced phone, or a Game Boy Micro. In the anime, this PET features a holographic touch screen, allowing the Operator/NetOp to drag-and-drop Battle Chip data onto their NetNavi with touch alone. This PET also allows for the attachment of various accessory upgrades, specifically for upgrading NetNavis' abilities during battle. Also, in the anime, the PET could enhance Lan and Chaud's Cross Fusion strength, and give them a new design during the fusion. This is the only PET to jack-in using infrared rays in the games, featured in the scenario on the Queen Bohemia in Mega Man Battle Network 5.
Introduced in the sixth and final Mega Man Battle Network title, this PET was also used in the 25-episodes of the Rockman.EXE Beast anime series. This PET resembles an iPod MP3 player. In the anime, Lan is seen wearing the PET in a strap on his bicep.
The Link PET retains the holographic touch screen of its predecessor, and also features a stylus for further interactivity, possibly a reference for the Nintendo DS stylus. Also, NetNavis are able to appear in the real world as miniature holographic representations of themselves, usually standing on their Operators/NetOps shoulders (in the game, Navis can only appear in the real world using CopyRoids/Copybots). In the final 26-episodes anime series, Rockman EXE Beast+, Lan receives a slightly recolored version of this PET known as the Link PET_EX, enhancing MegaMan's Beast Out ability.
In the anime, both PETs also gave Lan, Chaud, and Raika jet-propelled flight abilities during Cross Fusion. This PET returns to using a normal jack for jacking-in in the games. The reason for this is unknown.
A SubPET is basically a backup PET used when the NetOp's main PET needs repairs. It is used in Mega Man Battle Network 3 and is mentioned that Dex uses one when the player first travels to Oran Island in Mega Man Battle Network 5 due to his PET being stolen. Although the Navi can still function in it, it also has been stripped of other features, like Email, and most importantly, jacking-in (it has no cable to transmit, nor does it have a wireless laser beamer). However, through an upgrade, it basically becomes a standard PET, having all the functions of a normal PET when upgraded. The known colors for the SubPET are orange, as shown in Mega Man Battle Network 3.
Battle Chip Gates don't feature any kind of interface or the ability to house a NetNavi; instead, they can only be used to transfer Battle Chips to remote NetNavis, even NetNavis that don't belong to the Operator/NetOp. In the anime, it is also used to send Battle Chips to humans who are transformed with Cross Fusion or remote Navis, or to even activate Battle Chips that don't require a NetNavi for the effect (such as field-altering Battle Chips like RockCube (which can still crush opponents) or Grass Stage instead of swords or projectiles. Although, it can still activate certain offensive chips like Flame Tower, MiniBomb, and TimeBomb, or even use certain Battle Chips to summon their virus counterparts, e.g. Cannon summons Canodumb, Guard/Shockwave summons Mettaur, Life Aura summons Scuttlest, DashAttack summons Fishy, Train/Trident Arrow summons Piranha, etc. Sword Chips have never been activated on their own by the Battle Chip Gate.
The Battle Chip Gate first appeared for the fourth Battle Network title as a Japanese-exclusive toy accessory. It connected to the Game Boy Advance and allowed the player to transmit real-life toy Battle Chips to the NetNavis in the game. It received a redesign for its usage in the fifth Battle Network title, and both models appeared in Axess and Stream respectively. The Battle Chip Gates were also used in various spin-off titles such as Rockman EXE 4.5.
For the sixth Battle Network video game, the Battle Chip Gate would again be updated, this time to the Beast Link Gate. These devices have the same use as their predecessors but come in two styles representative of the Cybeasts Gregar and Falzar. However, in the final two anime series, Beast and Beast+, the Beast Link Gates are instead used as PETs by the residents of the parallel world Beyondard, regardless that they lack of an interface for viewing the NetNavis they house.
The gates themselves have only ever appeared once in the games themselves as a poster in Higsby's shop.
Electronic toy versions of the PETs have been distributed to the Japanese market by Bandai and Takara, and various toy Battle Chips were also distributed for use on the PETs. The PETs often come in many colors with various accessories (such as carrying cases). Accessories to the Progress PET can be purchased, as well as different face-plates for the Link PET. The PETs often simulate housing a virtual NetNavi that can battle with fictional computer viruses or other NetNavis, similar to digital pets.
Toy versions of every PET model except the original PET used in the first two Battle Network games have been produced. Most of the PETs are still being manufactured and can be purchased from various import shops. However, the original PET (from the anime and third game; produced by Bandai) has been discontinued, and these PETs are often deemed valuable in online auctions. So far, only the Advanced PET (in three available colors) has been imported to the United States market. This version uses physical Battle Chips to fight "viruses," and two can be connected with a link cable. The Advanced PET II was planned but was never released in America.
Examples of PET Toys
|Terminals in the MegaMan Battle Network and Star Force Series|
|PET • Transer • Star Carrier • Hunter-VG|