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Bass.EXE: the Musical is a broadway musical featuring Bass.EXE from Megaman Battle Network, this time, as a title character and the main antagonist (with a more antagonistic role than Bass.EXE from Megaman Battle Network). Netnavis in this musical are not computer programs, but supernatural bloodthirsty undead spirits that transform their victims by biting their victims. The score is by Frank Wildhorn, with lyrics and book by Don Black and Christopher Hampton.

Act I

In the year 1890, Dylan Hooton, lawer from England, travels to Trenser in order to fix a deal with the elderly Bass.EXE, who wants to buy a home in London (Prologue). Dylan enjoys a lavish supper set by his host and asks the Netnavi if he knows anyone in England. Bass.EXE responds that he knows Dylan, and that other contacts have been made in advance to ensure his arrival in England is well received. The Netnavi's voices his desire to begin a new life in his new country ("Solitary Man"). Bass.EXE shows Dylan to his bedroom, where he notices a picture of Dylan's girlfriend Emma Thurston, which seems to have a strange effect on him. Once Bass.EXE leaves, Dylan composes a letter to Emma, who herself remembers how they met ("Whitby Bay"). Emma, in England, suddenly hears Bass.EXE's voice in her head; the Netnavi forebodingly informs her of his imminent journey to England and his desire to be with her. Early one morning Bass.EXE surprises Dylan while shaving, causing Dylan to cut himself. Bass.EXE advances towards his guest's bleeding throat but retreats once he catches a glimpse of a crucifix around Dylan's neck. Dylan tries to get Bass.EXE to focus on the contract, but Bass.EXE ignores him, instead advising him to only sleep in his own chamber. Dylan's stay in the castle slowly begins turning into a nightmare and he frantically searches for a way out ("Dylan's Bedroom"). Bass.EXE's brides (similar to Serenade. EXE from Megaman Battle Network) appear in one of the rooms the unfortunate English teenager wonders into and begin to seduce him. Dylan removes the crucifix from his neck and the Brides prepare to drink his blood ("Forever Young"). Bass.EXE suddenly appears and berates the women for disobeying his orders to leave Dylan for himself. When the Brides ask if they are to have nothing Bass.EXE gives them an infant to consume. When the infant's distraught mother enters, begging for the return of her child, Bass.EXE kills her and proceeds to drink Dylan's blood to restore his youth ("Fresh Blood"). Fully rejuvenated, Bass.EXE flies into the air, while Dylan escapes to Budapest.

Back in London, Bass.EXE contacts his servant Baritone.EXE (similar to Bass.EXE, but he is white, not black, and was once Dylan), who is incarcerated in the insane asylum of Dr. Ray Howard and promises him eternal life in exchange for his services. Baritone.EXE envisions Bass.EXE's approach to Whitby Bay via the ship Demeter, and sees Bass.EXE kill the captain and the crew ("The Master's Song").

After reading of the disaster, Emma discusses the news with her friend Jessie Kruger, and about Jessie's trouble with sleepwalking, which the latter had apparently inherited from her late father. The conversation quickly turns to Jessie's dilemma of having three marriage proposals offered to her in one day. All three suitors come to dinner at her house that night: Tyler Stocker, the "brave" cowboy from Texas; Dr. Ray Howard, the "bright" owner of the mental institution in Purfleet; and Armstrong Berming, Jessie's childhood sweetheart. In the end, Jessie chooses Berming ("How Do You Choose?").

That night, Jessie sleepwalks and finds Bass.EXE. When the Netnavi begins to drink her blood, Emma, who had followed Jessie, appears. The Netnavi explains, inside Emma's mind, that she is the one he really wanted but Jessie answered his call instead. When Emma begs Bass.EXE to release her friend, the Netnavi vows he will, but only if Emma will come with him; a proposal which Emma blatantly refuses. Angered, and shocked that Emma is able to resist him, Bass.EXE vanishes. Jessie awakens and describes her encounter with Bass.EXE to Emma ("The Mist"). Emma explains to Jessie that she has received a telegram from Dylan (now Baritone.EXE) in Budapest, and planned that she must go to marry him at once. Jessie congratulates Emma, excited that they will both become brides. Bass.EXE, watching from afar, comments that he has already corrupted one mortal soul. ("The Mist-Reprise").

Emma prepares for her journey, upsetting Bass.EXE. Stirred by emotions he has not felt in centuries, Bass.EXE follows Emma to the train station and, from afar, voices his desire to be with her. When she realize that Dylan himself is gone, torn between her devotion to Berming and her darker desires, Emma begins to question what she really wants in life. Ultimately, she travels to Budapest and marries Berming ("A Perfect Life/Loving You Keeps Me Alive/Whitby Bay-Reprise"). At the same time, Jessie marries Dr. Ray Howard in London ("The Weddings"). Feeling that Emma has betrayed him, an enraged Bass.EXE appears before Jessie at her reception, causing her to faint. Dr. Howard calls upon the renowned Netnavi expert Van Helsing to help the weakened Jessie. Van Helsing decorates Jessie's room with garlic and gives her a bottle of holy water to sleep with. Drawn to Bass.EXE's power, Jessie disposes of the onions and holy water and invites the Netnavi into her room ("The Invitation"). Bass.EXE appears and takes his revenge by draining Jessie of blood and feeding her his own.

The next morning, Jessie attacks Berming, her teeth now long and sharp, and she is now covered in black and gold armor, everywhere except her face. Van Helsing saves Berming and sends the feral Jessie into a frenzy with a prayer. Jessie dies, leaving Dr. Ray Howard confused and heartbroken. Van Helsing comforts the despairing man, while explaining the nature of the Netnavi ("Slurfosta").

Jessie is buried and shortly rises again as a Netnavi (now resembling Serenade.EXE, just like Bass.EXE's brides). Bass.EXE comes to her and christens her as the first of his new "dynasty." The Netnavi then sends Jessie out to find her first victims, before flying into the sky in the form of a giant bat-like, demon-like creature ("Life After Life").

Act II

Two weeks later, Van Helsing leads Berming, Morton, Dr. Howard, and Emma to Jessie's tomb. There has been an epidemic of small children being abducted and drained of blood in the dead of night by someone described as a "bloofer lady." Van Helsing seeks to prove to Berming, Morton, and Dr. Howard, who remain skeptical, that the culprit is none other than the undead Jessie Westenra. They enter Jessie's coffin, but it's empty. Jessie then enters the tomb, with a small child whom she intended to feed on, and is confronted by the Netnavi hunters ("Undead One, Surrender"). The group force her into her coffin with religious chanting, and Berming tearfully drives a stake through her heart, while Van Helsing decapitates her. Jessie dies and is finally able to rest in peace.

While musing on the events of the previous day, Emma once more hears Bass.EXE voice in her mind. When Bass.EXE asks why she is forcing him to wait, Emma points out that he murdered Jessie. Bass.EXE retorts that she is wrong, for he gave jessie eternal life and it was the Netnavi hunters who actually killed her. Emma feels a strange attraction to the Netnavi, despite the fact that he turned Jessie into a Netnavi. Caught between her fear of his terrible power and her growing affinity towards him, Emma pleads with the Netnavi not to make her love him unless he truly loves her ("Please Don't Make Me Love You").

Van Helsing discovers Baritone.EXE's mind connection with Bass.EXE, and visits his cell with Emma. Baritone.EXE explains his connection with Bass.EXE and how he has been promised true eternal life. When Van Helsing asks if he and Baritone.EXE had met somewhere before the madman eerily replies that he knows what happened to Van Helsing's wife. Shaken by Baritone.EXE's comment, Van Helsing storms out of the cell. Emma tries to reason with Baritone.EXE by asking him if eternal life is worth damning his soul. Baritone.EXE warns Emma of Bass.EXE's plans for her, only to quickly realize he has sealed his fate by betraying his master. Once left alone, Bass.EXE appears and appeared to have kills his former servant ("The Master's Song-Reprise").

Van Helsing has a private moment as he recollects on his youth and his young, beautiful wife Roseanne. Roseanne was killed by a Netnavi, hinted to have been Bass.EXE, inspiring Van Helsing to become a Netnavi hunter in her honor ("Roseanne").

Berming, Morton, and Dr. Howard have uncovered Bass.EXE's hiding place in the house where Dylan had became a Netnavi while he was in Trenser. Van Helsing, Berming, and Dr. Howard leave, leaving Emma with Berming. While Berming shows the men to the door, Emma can't help but feel a growing need to save Bass.EXE from destruction. Unable to fight her desire for the Netnavi any longer she invites the Netnavi into the house ("If I Could Fly"). Bass.EXE enters and puts Berming in a trance before seducing Emma. The two share a moment of passion before Bass.EXE cuts open his chest and lets Emma taste his blood, intending to turn her into a Netnavi ("The Seduction (There's Always A Tomorrow")). The Netnavi hunters return and confront Bass.EXE, causing him to flee ("It's Over").

Using hypnosis, Van Helsing gets Emma, who is now telepathically connected to Bass.EXE, to reveal the Netnavi's whereabouts. Bass.EXE is revealed to be returning home to Trenser due to the destruction of his hiding place in London. Emma makes each man, even Berming, promise to kill her if it seems her soul is beyond saving ("Dylan's Promise"). The hunters' then prepare for their journey and final battle with Bass.EXE ("Deep In the Darkest Night"). Meanwhile, Berming broods over the horrifying promise he has made to his wife but vows to keep it ("Before the Summer Ends").

Aboard a train, Van Helsing again hypnotizes Emma to reveal Bass.EXE's movements. She reveals Bass.EXE is hidden in a coffin in the hull of a ship, before becoming completely engulfed by Bass.EXE's mind. With the trance broken, Emma retires while the others plan their next move. ("The Train Sequence/Life After Life-Reprise").

Bass.EXE, back at his castle, reflects on his enternal life and realizes he has fallen deeply in love with Emma ("The Longer I Live").

The hunters reached Bass.EXE's ccastle and the final showdown takes place. Morton is killed by Bass.EXE when he tries to stake the Netnavi in his coffin. Van Helsing leaves Emma in a protective circle of holy water to help Berming and Dr.Howard fight Bass.EXE's Brides. Bass.EXE shortly appears before Emma, who now decides to follow her beloved into the darkness. Upon hearing the death screams of his brides, Bass.EXE realizes that Emma will share the same fate if she becomes a Netnavi. Having fallen in love with her, he is now unable to bring himself to condemn her to live in death. Knowing that her only salvation is his demise, Bass.EXE asks Emma to release him from his doomed existence with a Bowie knife he took from Morton. With tears running down her face, she fulfills her lover's last wish, just before the hunters return (and Baritone.EXE sneaks while he stays hidden from humans, revealing that Baritone!EXE is still alive). Berming finds his wife cradling the body of Bass.EXE in her arms ("Finale: There's Always A Tomorrow").

Reception

Bass.EXE: the Musical is very successful among critics and audiences, received so many positive reviews by many critics and fans. The version of the show licensed by Music Theatre International is based on this production. A Cast Recording was released in 2008 and was a huge hit in the sale charts.

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