Dark Chips are vastly powerful Battle Chips created by Dr. Regal, that increase a NetNavi's power beyond limits, but destroys the Navi's connection with its NetOp and turns them into a Dark Soul Navi, or even Darkloids which use these chips to survive. They start out using them to become more powerful, but soon become addicted and need them. After a while of addiction, it starts to corrupt their data, until eventually they become so corrupted that they are deleted. In the anime, Dr. Hikari states that the Dark Chips are a type of chip which trades a Navi's soul for power (sort of like "a deal with the devil").
Dark Chips can be strongly compared to drug addiction in both the games and anime in many ways. Interestingly, MegaMan can control Dark Chip influence if used, but an overload of dark energy like a Dark Chip implant or a direct infusion of dark energy will cause him to turn into MegaMan DS, who also cannot die from Dark Chip use, due to the fact he was born from pure dark energy.
In the games
In Mega Man Battle Network 4, Dark Chips can only be used when MegaMan enters an "anxious" state, after taking several hits in succession without fighting back. They will take up the last two slots of the Custom Screen, and cannot be used with any other chip, aside from another Dark Chip. When one is "dark" enough, he can enter the battle with Dark Chips already displayed. In Mega Man Battle Network 5, the Dark Chips are Battle Chips on their own, with their own code. Each folder can hold up to three Dark Chips at one time.
Dark Chips are the most powerful chips in both games if the player used them frequently, but the glitches they cause can discourage players from using some of them. Chaos Unison bypasses the glitch, but with a twist, so it is also rather ineffective, unless the player needs to reuse a Soul Unison, as the same Chaos Unison and Soul Unison can be used in the same battle.
In the anime
The chips were made by Dr. Regal with his knowledge of the science he obtained from being a probe of Duo to give to Darkloids as payments for their alliance. The chips simply power up whatever NetNavi uses them (however, it is later shown there are still dark versions of chips like Dark Sword and Dark Cannon), but they still turn them evil. The power up they receive is great, as shown when FlashMan first used it, he was able to easily break through MegaMan's Bamboo Sword Battle Chip with his bare hands and overwhelmed MegaMan from that. Ms. Yuri had also spread the Dark Chips to other people in order to widen its influence as well as to acquire new allies to serve under them as members of Nebula.
Another side effect, likely created to coincide with the fact they permanently remove HP in the games, is that over time they delete the data of whatever NetNavi uses them, which was revealed to be Dr. Regal's intention all along, as he used the Darkloids as his puppets and would use the promise of great power from the Dark Chips as rewards so that the very same chip would eventually delete them should they ever attempt to rebel against him or when he feels their services were of no longer needed. The Dark Chips were also exceedingly addictive, as SavageMan stated that with the Dark Chips deleting parts of his data completely, he needed the Dark Chips themselves just to momentarily replace the lost data.
Excess use of the Dark Chips also begin to appear on the NetNavis as well, as displayed by when SavageMan first showed to have a more savage look with his horn, mane, and claws growing longer, and finally when he turned purple from it. It affected FlashMan and DesertMan as well, but only showing purple spots on them, and their eyes no longer able to be seen.
ProtoMan became dark in episode 27 of Axess after Chaud slotted in an extra strong Dark Chip to fight ShadeMan. ProtoMan served LaserMan at first with a normal darker color, but after failing to steal the data for the new PET, LaserMan altered ProtoMan's own programming and data in order to make him into a pure Darkloid that would be able to use Dark Chips to empower him, without any of the negative effects.
Dr. Hikari and other scientists searched for a cure of the Dark Chips ailments, and eventually discovered one later in the episodes, as the Vaccine Chip. They attempted to use it on Dark ProtoMan, but despite the attempts, the Vaccine Chip failed to work due to how his programs were altered. However, the Vaccine Chips were still functional in removing the dark affects from others that weren't altered like Dark ProtoMan was.
Dark Chips have several effects:
- When any number of Dark Chips have been used in battle, the user permanently loses 1 HP from their maximum HP count until only 1 HP is left.
- Using a Dark Chip will result in a bug occurring in MegaMan, depending on the Dark Chip used (though most have the tendency to cause an HP bug).
- When MegaMan has used enough Dark Chips, he turns "dark" becoming the entity which is known as DarkMega or MegaMan DS, losing the ability to enter Full Synchro or use Double Souls. He also gains the ability to use chips exclusive only to "dark" MegaMan (like Muramasa), DS Chips, and will enter a "berserker" state on a lethal hit. To reverse the effects of "darkness", one must enter battles without the usage of Dark Chips, and this process can be sped up by the "Soul Cleanser" NCP.
List of Dark Chips (excluding DS chips)
In both Battle Network 4, Dark Chips always have the same description: "DARKCHIP CREATED BY DESIRE" (In caps). Additionally, there are chips that can be only used while "Dark". These chips are normally tagged with "Evil Chip!" in the description, and are normally powered up versions of their predecessors. Most are Mega Chips, preventing a player from completely building a folder around these chips.
*In Battle Network 5, some Dark Chips were removed to compensate for others and each chip can be used for a Chaos Unison.
There are four ways to obtain Dark Chips:
- Enter the "Worried" or "Dark" state. (MMBN4)
- Buy them from people who say they have "a really rare/powerful/alternate-colored chip". (MMBN5)
- Use the Lotto Number. (Certain types only in MMBN5)
- Find them in Certain Mystery Data. (MMBN5)
- The concept of Dark Chips is highly similar to the concept of Evil Energy found in the Classic Timeline by the time of Mega Man 8; this can be further reinforced by its appearance alongside the arrival of Battle Network's Duo.EXE.
- Dark Chips were removed in Battle Network 6, but Dark Sword and Dark Thunder made a return as BugRSwrd (Bug Rise Sword) and BgDthThd (Bug Death Thunder), which when used, replace MegaMan's Charge Shot at the cost of sacrificing bugs (both are Giga Chips).
- In Japan, one can use toy Dark Chips with the Battle Network 6 Beast Link Gate to download Dark Chips, inflicting the above bugs. This does not apply to Battle Network 5 normal Battle Chips, but the player can slot in chips from the opposite version of Battle Network 6.
- Chaud, in both the anime and Battle Network 4, has resorted to using a Dark Chip on ProtoMan when backed into a corner; both instances led ProtoMan to be consumed by a powerful Dark Soul, though he curiously shows no physical detriment after being freed.
- Chaos Unisons are a safe way to use dark chips; players will just have to watch out for the charge shot.
- However, an exploit exists to ensure that there are truly no consequences from using a Chaos Unison: If the player pauses the game during the charge shot, they can see if the shot is currently "good" or "bad". The button can be released before unpausing in the former case to use the attack risk-free; in the latter case, the player will simply unpause without releasing the button and repeat the process until the "good" charge shot is found.
- The only time the use of dark chips is inconsequential is when fighting ShadeMan in Castillo, as they will not cause bugs and permanent HP loss.
- There is a chip in the MegaMan NT Warrior anime which works similar to a Dark Chip. It is called Super Great White Angel or Devil Chip. As a Dark Chip, it makes the NetNavi more powerful and evil. However, it does not addict and corrupt the Navi like a normal Dark Chip would. This particular chip was given to Maylu by Yahoot disguised as Higsby during the N1 Grand Prix as a part of World Three's plot to defeat their enemies.
- In Mega Man Battle Network 5: Double Team DS, after using a Dark Chip and jacking out, the appearance of MegaMan in the PET will have a slightly darker shade. Oddly, his iris will still be in a normal shade of color.
|Chaos Unison • Dark Soul|
|Darkloid • Nebula • Dark Soul Navi|
|Evil Chip • Dark Chip • Dark Synchro Chip|
|Mega Man Battle Network Transformations|
|Beast Out • Cross Fusion • Cross MegaMan • Cross System • Double Soul/Chaos Unison • Style Change • Trans Arm|
|Chng.BAT • Dark Chip • Synchro Chips|