MegaMan Battle Network: Top 10 NetNavis

Updated on June 12, 2017
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Jeremy explores several topics in-between juggling college with nanotechnology research (for fingerprint imaging purposes).

Battle Network

MegaMan stars in several separate video games and even anime series. One of the most unique iterations is his Battle Network form. Battle Network was a series of video games for the Game Boy Advance chronicling the adventures of MegaMan as a NetNavi, a cybernetic warrior who defends the internet from evil Navis and viruses. Sound strange? It was, but the games offered unique action role-playing experiences.

MegaMan encountered many powerful Navis in his journeys, some friends, some foes. Today, we'll countdown the ten most powerful NetNavis of all time! Be warned, spoilers ahead.

Operators and Navis

Most Navis have an "Operator", a human who helps them in battle by sending them collectable programs called Battle Chips that offer a variety of different attacks. MegaMan's operator is a boy named Lan Hikari.

All NetNavis have .EXE as part of their official name, but are commonly referred to without the suffix to save time.


10. ShadowMan.EXE

Operator: The mercenary Dusk

One of the most feared NetNavis, ShadowMan works as an assassin to kill (or, as the game gently calls it, "delete") many NetNavis. His illusions and speed allow him to confuse opponents and win fights with minimal effort. When facing the rare foe who can challenge him, ShadowMan wields the powerful cursed sword, Muramasa, which deals more damage the closer ShadowMan is to death.

ShadowMan appeared as a secret boss in the first Battle Network, and reappeared in 2 and 5.


9. ShadeMan.EXE

Operator: Doesn't need one

ShadeMan's design obviously draws from vampires. Like his blood-sucking inspiration, ShadeMan proves a fearsome foe. MegaMan battles him twice without any of his attacks being able to touch ShadeMan, forcing a stalemate. MegaMan eventually defeats him by giving in to temptation and using the forbidden power of a Dark Chip.

Even then, ShadeMan is only temporarily downed. A side quest involving a cameo and teamup with Boktai protagonist Django unleashes the incredibly strong "Pile Driver" Program Advance on Shademan. That's gotta finish him, right? Nope. Even then, he reappears in the following game, though it's implied the Pile Driver has drastically weakened his powers.

In short, even if you somehow knock ShadeMan down, he'll inevitably just get back up again.


8. DarkMan.EXE

Operator: Doesn't require one

Shadow, Shade, and DarkMan? I'm sensing a theme here. Anyway, DarkMan is a secret boss in Battle Network 3, and is encountered in an area so hidden it's literally called "Secret Area". DarkMan must be defeated before JapanMan and Serenade can be fought. He's the first of the Secret Boss trio, but he's by no means weak. Before facing MegaMan, DarkMan notes he's defeated 9,642 Navis in a row; when he reaches ten thousand, Serenade will duel him.

DarkMan proves a very challenging opponent, and battles using fire, ice, and electricity in addition to dark attacks.


7. JapanMan.EXE

Operator: Doesn't utilize one

Seventh place goes to the boss encountered after DarkMan in the Secret Area of Battle Network 3, JapanMan. He's a very talented spear fighter, assaulting MegaMan with a variety of fearsome techniques. He can also deflect Mega's techniques by spinning his spear.

JapanMan is theorized to be the Navi who gave the immeasurably powerful Navi Bass his scar. Scarring Bass is not an easy task to accomplish, nor is serving as Serenade's right-hand Navi, proving JapanMan's power. The Japanese versions of the game call him YamatoMan, which admittedly sounds much less silly.


6. Iris.EXE

Operator: Doesn't have one

An unusual Navi who used cutting edge technology to travel between the human and electronic world. Iris doesn't look like a fighter, and she tends to avoid conflict. However, she and Colonel team up to take down an incredibly powerful Cybeast by fusing together to achieve their perfect form. Her methods of fighting aren't shown, but she's clearly a surprisingly fearsome battler with powers rivaling Colonel's. Speaking of which..


5. Colonel.EXE

Operator: Baryl

A mysterious Navi with shifting allegiances, Colonel is both a reliable ally and a dangerous enemy to MegaMan. Colonel's powers are evident throughout the series, especially when he and Iris are able to bring down a giant Cybeast by themselves in the final game, Battle Network 6. The two can also fuse together to further increase their strength.

Colonel fights with his trusty sword and "Screen Divide" ranged attack. He can also summon small soldiers to fire at opponents, and place large cubes to act as shields.


4. ProtoMan.EXE

Operator: Eugene Chaud

The "rival" of the series, ProtoMan and MegaMan tend to disagree on methods but both fight for the sake of mankind. Mega relies mostly on guns, while Proto uses swords to slice foes to bits. Another contrast is that while MegaMan was born with natural talent, ProtoMan and his operator Chaud achieve their power by training for ten hours every day. That's some serious dedication.

ProtoMan's had to bail out MegaMan from tight spots more than once, and is shown to fight superbly even when blinded. He's both fast and powerful, and many characters in-universe regard him as the strongest Navi. He can also block strikes using a shield, and his ultimate technique is the mighty Delta Ray Edge attack.


3. MegaMan.EXE

Operator: Lan Hikari

The main character of the Battle Network series, and the Navi you'll be playing as. MegaMan is a versatile warrior with the ability to borrow the attacks of allies he's made, and he's defeated hundreds of opponents throughout the series. He even took down a Cybeast by himself, something it took a combination of Colonel and Iris to achieve.

At his best, MegaMan may just be the strongest Navi in the series. However, his powers seem to fluctuate from far below Bass to slightly above him. Additionally, MegaMan is heavily reliant on receiving Battle Chips from operator Lan, preventing him from taking top spot.


2. Bass.EXE

Operator: Really doesn't need one

A Navi with the ability to absorb power from defeated foes, Bass (pronounced "base", like baseball) serves as a secret boss in almost every Battle Network game; he's also the final secret boss of the last game. And he is hard. Throughout his appearances, Bass's techniques include a regenerating aura, rapid gunfire, giant energy spheres, dark swords, energy wheels that home in on their target, and more.

In the story, Bass was betrayed by mankind, and it took an entire team of elite Navis to take him down (Japanman was theorized to be a part of this group, inflicting a scar on the emblem under Bass's cloak. Bass barely clung to life, and swore vengeance. Him and MegaMan have clashed throughout the series, with various outcomes. On one notable occasion, he completely outclassed Mega, fighting him in a battle that you, the player, are forced to lose. Who could be stronger than a Navi like that...?


1. Serenade.EXE

Operator: Really, really doesn't need one

Serenade, a Navi so powerful and terror-inducing that those who speak her (his?) name only refer to her as "S". Serenade was designed as the perfect Navi with a genderless appearance; fans like to debate the sex of this character. She is the last of the Secret Area boss trio in Battle Network 3; reaching her is hard and beating her is harder. But for all the fear Serenade seems to inspire, she's a surprisingly kind entity, stating her love and respect for her opponent as the source of her powers; perhaps others are simply scared of what would happen if they made an enemy of her.

Serenade once battled Bass in a fight that lasted days, eventually emerging the victor. This makes her the one and only Navi, besides you playing as Megaman, to have defeated him in single combat. Before battling Serenade, MegaMan even states "this Navi isn't like anything I've ever faced before!", implying he views her as more powerful than Bass.

All in all, don't mess with Serenade.

Who is your favorite Navi?

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Your Favorite

Hopefully you've enjoyed examining the strongest warriors of this bizarre but memorable MegaMan series!

As you can tell, I'm a big Battle Network fan and recommend it to anyone searching for some classic action-roleplaying adventures. Feel free to vote for you favorite Navi, and I'll see you at our next countdown!


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    • profile image

      Nick 5 months ago

      I would put Kingman at like 10 because frankly, I love chess, so a character with that niche is pretty great.

    • Jeremy Gill profile image

      Jeremy Gill 7 months ago from Louisiana

      Hi Bx! I can tell you know a lot about this series, and you make some great points that honestly have me considering things. Here's more food for thought:

      MegaMan and Bass both scale as the series progresses, true. Thus, is it fair to say that, had Serenade continued to appear, she probably would have been upgraded as well?

      Iris never fights, you're right. As such, it's hard top accurately judge her capabilities, but the fact that her fusion with Colonel greatly strengthens him leads me to believe she possesses some impressive strength.

      Shadowman's status as a secret boss in the first game, and the fact that he deleted Protoman in the second, boost him just above Searchman in my mind.

      Yamato vs. Planetman is a fair contest we could consider all day haha. My love for Battle Network 3 gives Yam the edge, but it's definitely debatable.

      Shademan may not have been the head honcho, but his invincibility without Dark Chips and his ability to continuously resurrect make me thing he's stronger. He's also great at corrupting Navis, like he did to Gutsman/Aquaman in BN4.

      The Windman point is very interesting. In the games, Windman plays a negligible role and isn't particularly tough, but that description sure builds him up. He might be a good pick to put in Iris's spot.

    • profile image

      BxSouljah 7 months ago

      As a long time fan of the MMBN series, I really enjoy your article, however here are some changes I would have made:

      - By the end of BN6 I think it's more than safe to say that both Megaman and Bass outclass Serenade due to all the experience, abilities, and techniques each navi come to posses. I might even go so far as to say that Protoman and Colonel are stronger than Serenade by the series end.

      - Iris isn't really a fighting netnavi, you never see her battle and you never really hear what combat abilities she possess if any. I think you could have just included her in Colonel's spot.

      - I like the addition of Shadowman, but if you're going to include him, why not a seasoned military veteran like Searchman? His ability actually counters Shadowman's (doing double damage) and therefore would deserved to be placed above him.

      - I think I may have swapped Yamatoman for Planetman in your list; if only because he does become the temporary leader of WWW in BN2 and is the last story character you fight in that secret area. Lastly both navis only appear in one mainline game.

      - I see why you included Shademan on your list; however I think it would make morel logical sense if he was replaced with either Laserman or Cosmoman. Simply because both of those navis I just mentioned, were at one point or another, leaders of Nebula. And I feel that the strenght and power of these navis is the reason they are so high up on the totem pole.

      - The only glaring omission I see here besides Searchman would most likely be Windman and here's why, "He is considered a god on his homeland, Scissor Island, because of his tremendous power which is sealed away most of the time by Lilly's GrasFlut. Once unleashed he is uncontrollable." - mmkb wiki

      -Some of my honorable mentions would include: Kingman, TomahawkMan, Eraseman, Mistman, and Bowlman.

      Excellent article my guy!

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