Rockman.EXE WS (ロックマンエグゼ WS?) is a game in the Mega Man Battle Network series that is a retelling of seasons one and two of MegaMan NT Warrior. Essentially, the game allows players to "live" the anime.
Like Mega Man Network Transmission on the GameCube, Rockman.EXE WS is a side-scrolling game, deviating from the action RPG nature of the rest of the series. The game is broken down into several different chapters, each presented as stages in which MegaMan can choose a path to take, allowing him to face different bosses and acquire Battle Chips along the way. Different chips can be assigned to four different buttons on the system, though Lan Hikari is unable to send MegaMan new chips at certain locations in the network. As such, players must be careful and conserve their chips during gameplay, as well as when selecting styles.
While Mega Man Network Transmission incorporated the gameplay mechanics and weapons systems from the Classic Mega Man and Mega Man X series, and used the platforming elements from both, Rockman.EXE WS takes the cues, aesthetics, and weapons system of the Mega Man Zero series of games and combines them with the characters and setting of the Mega Man Battle Network series games and anime.
Rockman.EXE WS synchronously adapts various aspects of the first Battle Network game and season one of the anime show. The story begins as Haruka Hikari and Lan Hikari, catching up on the 10th fire in the neighborhood of ACDC Town, receives mail from Yuichiro Hikari addressed to his son. Ecstatic to know that his father's promise of a custom Net Navi upon reaching 5th grade has been fulfilled, Lan installs his new OS, and comes to meet his new companion, MegaMan.EXE. Like the first game, they come to encounter a variety of dilemmas to tackle, and ultimately face off against the WWW and their agendas for world domination.
- Stage 1: FireMan.EXE - Following the next day, the household is also met with calamity when the oven catches fire. As Lan arrives to the kitchen with his mother, MegaMan offers his help in wanting to examine the oven's computer, particularly since yesterday's maintenance visit from a repairman concerning the oven fires throughout the neighborhood.
- Stage 2:
- ElecMan.EXE - As Lan is aboard a subway train, the transport system is suddenly hijacked, to where the train suddenly speeds out of control from its normal schedule. MegaMan is jacked into the system to help stop the train before Lan and the other passengers face anymore possible danger.
- ColorMan.EXE - While in town, Lan and MegaMan notice various traffic incidents and jams unusually caused by the signal light system going haywire. Lan jacks in Megaman to the Traffic Control Center to find out what's going on.
- Stage 3:
- MagicMan.EXE - Lan and MegaMan notice one day the entire town oddly acting like animals. Deducing that the hypnosis is coming from Yahoot's Yoga Hour TV show, MegaMan is jacked into the TV station to stop the show's broadcast and brainwashing.
- PharaohMan.EXE - On a visit to Scilab, Lan and MegaMan notice a nefarious Net Navi having installed itself in Scilab's depths, using the center as a base of operations as the Navi wrecks havoc on the Global Network. MegaMan and Lan then set off to stop the renegade Navi's agenda before it can do anymore damage.
- Stage 4:
- BombMan.EXE - MegaMan and Lan come across an oddly desolate and devastated part of the internet. Hearing it from MegaMan himself, Lan can only deduce that the WWW is behind the scene, and the two decide to liberate the area from the perpetrator responsible.
- SnakeMan.EXE - MegaMan and Lan venture into a curious part of the net, being described as the site for the underground online game Survival 7. Though MegaMan only feels that the game is shady, the prize wagered is described as one heart's desire, and Lan agrees to enter to win an expensive designer purse for his mother.
- Stage 5: All during a crucial WWW group meeting, Mr. Match, Count Zap, Maddy, and Yahoot vow revenge on Lan and MegaMan for having foiled their terrorist attacks. Rallying with Dr. Wily, they begin a new wave of all out attacks on the Net.
- FireMan.EXE V2 - Venturing out into a heat devastated part of the Net, Mr. Match and FireMan.EXE make their official announcement to challenge the two to a rematch, and gives them little choice, threatening to unleash a swarm of viruses to the waste disposal plant. The two venture to the rematch to stop Match and FireMan.EXE once and for all.
- ElecMan.EXE V2 - In an unspecified part of the Net, MegaMan and Lan hear a voice beckoning them to come to it. The two eventually reach Count Zap and ElecMan.EXE, who desire a full on deathmatch, complete with electric shocks administered when one's respective Navi's is damaged.
- Stage 6: Having monitored MegaMan and Lan's progress, Dr. Wily orders a kidnapping by BombMan.EXE on one of Lan's friends in order to lure out MegaMan, who is said to bear the Ultimate Program, being key for his agenda. When Lan hears from Mayl that Roll has been kidnapped, the two make a lone attack on the WWW's headquarters to rescue her.
- ProtoMan.EXE - Lan and MegaMan encounter Chaud and ProtoMan.EXE, who are none too happy that the two are facing the WWW. Demanding them to go home as they feel Lan and MegaMan are inexperienced to face off against what the WWW has in store for the world, the two face off against the Official duo to prove to them that they do have what it takes.
- Life Virus - As Lan and MegaMan reach the center of the WWW Headquarter's Network, they encounter the Life Virus and Dr. Wily, who stand in their way to Roll. Though Dr. Wily offers an agreement that the dispute can be resolved peacefully by giving MegaMan over to him, Lan and MegaMan ultimately refuse as they learn that the Ultimate Program will be used in the mass destruction of the worldwide Net Society, and face off against Wily's greatest creation.
- Extra Stage: Gospel - One day while surfing the Net, Lan and Megaman come across an ominous entrance to what is known as the Undernet, a place rumored to be an abandoned part of the Net rampant with viruses.
- Bass.EXE (EX-Hard Challenge Mode only)