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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Favorite Tunes #44: Grand Finale

Your reward for finishing up the game. Sometimes it isn't all that great despite all the blood sweat and tears you endured to reach the end. Sometimes you're jumping for joy at a game's ending theme or staff roll. Other times, you gotta go for the tissues because you can't stop balling. This Favorite Tunes touches on both of those emotions. Some spoilers lie ahead.

Staff Roll - Rockman 5 Complete Works (PS)

All of the Complete Works PS versions of the Rockman games were given their own exclusive Staff Roll theme (Rockman 6 Complete Works uses Mega Man Battle & Chase' Let the Wind Blow). This recently overtook Mega Man 8's Staff Roll theme as my favorite Staff Roll music among Mega Man games. It sounds sad, yet beautiful and a little uplifting. 

Ending Theme - Final Fantasy VI (SNES, PS, GBA)

Before the Final Fantasy games hit the PS era and had long FMV endings, the final SNES installment had one of the lengthiest conclusions of the entire series with an ending that clocks it over over 21 minutes long. You get to see the characters escape Kefka's collapsing tower as an arrangement medley of the character theme plays during the first half of the ending. During the second half of the ending we see that due to Terra's love for the children in Mobliz, she can stay in the Earth realm and the party flies over the restored World of Balance in Setzer's airship. 

Kirby's Triumphant Return ~ Staff Roll - Kirby Super Star (SNES, DS)

At first glance it may look like all of Kirby's adventures in Super Star were all a dream, but I think the pink puff is just getting some shut eye. I mean, he's been through a lot. Racing, treasure hunting, sinking a huge battleship, and saving Pop Star. I'd be exhausted after all of that, too. 

Staff Roll (Sonic 3 ver.) - Sonic 3 & Knuckles (GEN)

Most Sonic games usually have a medley of the Zone themes for the end credits or staff roll theme. But Sonic 3 by itself has it's own stand out credits them and I like it a lot better than Sonic 3 & Knuckles ending medley. 

Standing Ovation - Viewtiful Joe (GCN, PS2)

Even on Kid Mode, Viewtiful Joe was not an easy game. You couldn't save on every level, there were some very irritating bosses (I'm glaring at you, Another Joe) and that Mega Man-style boss rush was insane. Yeah, you went through A LOT of crap in this great game to see the ending and while it may been somewhat predictable, the ending still made me smile. And it's tough to stay mad with this track playing, if the game did make me want to break a chair.

Staff Roll - Tekken Tag Tournament (PS2 ver.)

Like each console release, Tekken Tag Tournament recieved some console exclusive features like an arranged soundtrack, extra modes like the surprisingly addictive Tekken Bowling and a PS2 coat of paint. The arcade version of Tekken Tag Tournament looked like the PS version of Tekken 3, which wasn't a bad looking game, but those spiffy new visuals were quite nice. Without question, this is the best Staff Roll theme of any Tekken game. 

Epilogue: Spirit Being - Ikaruga (DC, GCN)

One of the toughest shooters I've ever played. Ikaruga beats me up each and every time I play it but I always keep coming back. Switching polarities is such a simple yet deep concept it's a wonder we didn't see it before this game. In most shooters when the world is saved, the pilots come home all safe and sound. The conclusion of Ikaruga has the pilots blast the enemy with everything they have in one final shot, which causes the ships to explode. So while peace is restored, it came at a hefty price. The beautiful scene of mountains, greenery and birds flying about is overshadowed by the fact that the protagonists gave their lives for a better world that they won't get to live in. 

Ending - Gunstar Heroes (GEN)

Treasures first game and for many, still the best, Gunstar Heroes is arguably the pinnacle of the run n gun shooter genre thanks to it's varied weapons that can be combined with each other, outstanding level design (the board game level is my favorite), and cool bosses, like the transforming mecha, Seven Force. You actually fight Seven Force three times before the pilot, Green helps save the world by making a noble sacrifice. For a game that brought me so many chuckles, it sure knew how to pull on my heart strings at the end.

Now Flightless Wings - Secret of Mana (SNES)

By killing the Mana Beast, the boy and his friends saved the world. But they lost so much in their journey. Both the boy's mother and father are dead, the girl lost the love of her life and the sprite can never again exist in the same world as them. I got something in my eye.

OK, that's enough depression and crying. I gotta finish off this list on a happier note. After Megan Man defeats Dr. Wily, Duo finds him passed out, on the verge of being overtaken by the Evil Energy. Duo purges it from his body and Mega Man wakes up in Dr. Light's lab among Roll, Eddie, Rush and Auto. I always thought this Staff Roll theme was a fitting end for the Classic series. I finished the game in 1998 and for years there wouldn't be another Classic Mega Man game in the Stares or Europe so for a while, I thought the series was done.

1 comment:

Chris Clash said...

SMB2, SMB3 and Super Mario World also have some of the best ending themes ever.