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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Favorite Tunes #100: Mega Man Rocks, Man

Mega Man music has always been very special to me. There has rarely been a Mega Man game with awful music with notable exceptions being the Game Gear version of Mega Man, and I highly doubt most people have even played that atrocity. Previous editions of Favorite Tunes that featured Mega Man music have been from a game. Today, I'm focusing on arrangements from the Blue Bomber's numerous album releases.

SKULLMAN ~Soldier of the Underworld~ - ROCKMAN Arrange Version Special CD

This guy has always fascinated me for a number of reasons. He's got a cool design, a sweet level that is not surprisingly made of bones and he's got one of the best Robot Master stage themes in the entire Classic series history. I have not heard a great deal of Skull Man arrangements, but this is without question, my favorite one. It has some of sick guitar solos in the middle and ending of the course. This thing really should have been included in Super Smash Bros. 4.

Dr. Wily Stage1 from ROCKMAN2 - 25th Anniversary Rockman Rock Arrange Ver.

I know what you're thinking. "(Insert expletive here), another Wily 1 Mega Man 2 remix?!" Even die hard fans are sick of this tune. But Kenji Ito put a fantastic rock spin on this tune for the little robot's 25th anniversary and it has become for me, the definitive arrangement of the overplayed song. There's even a nice break in the middle with a piano solo before firing up the guitars again to take us on home.

Darkman Stage from ROCKMAN5 - 25th Anniversary Rockman Rock Arrange Ver.

The Dr. Wily Stage theme from Mega Man 5 certainly is a good track to give some remix love to. But that was already done for the 20th Anniversary Rock Arrange album, so I'm glad Dark Man Stage got a chance to shine. The original tune has always been a stand out tune and this slow rock version is hands down the best arrangement I've heard. That bit form the choir is a very nice touch.

Kaze Yo Tsutaete (Buster Core Meltdown mix) - Chiptuned Rockman

Mega Man began his life on old 8-bit hardware so it was a bit surprising, yet fitting to release an album of arrangements that are of the chiptune variety. Chiptuned Rockman was an audio love letter to Rock's musical origins. It also covered a wide variety of titles, from the well knowns to the lesser played games like Mega Man: The Wily Wars and Mega Man: Battle and Chase, the later title being the source material of this particular track. This would eventually become Roll's theme music in subsequent spin off games where she was a playable character.


Selecting your level. You know, I'm not sure how many actually stop and listen to the music that goes along with these segments of the game. Since one may not spend nearly as much time there as they would actually playing a stage, it would be easy to string together, a generic, forgettable tune. Thankfully, Mega Man composers have never gone that route. The ROCK-MEN (is that a cool band name or what) cracked out one spectacular arrangement of the classic, short looping theme.


Since there's more than one Mega Man in this series, it's high time we shined the spot light on another and in this case, it's a spotlight stealer, Zero. After years of being a secondary character, Zero was given his own series with the Mega Man Zero titles on the GBA. They play very similar to the X games, only the difficulty is cranked up to eleven. The team at Inti Creates wrapped up the Zero series with the fourth installment, giving the hero an unforgettable sendoff. All four games received remastered albums of exceptional quality. Eperanto already sounded good even on the GBA hardware but it exploded as a remastered track. Is it any wonder this one is fan favorite?

Dr. Cossack Stage 2~Dr. Wily Stage 2 Medley from ROCKMAN4 - 25th Anniversary Rockman Rock Arrange Ver.

Mega Man 4 introduced a few new supporting characters to the series, Dr. Cossack and his daughter, Kalinka, both hailing from Russia. This was the first game in the series where Dr. Wily would attempt to lay blame on someone else for his crimes. He could have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for that meddling Proto Man. Dr. Cossack Stage 2 and Dr. Wily Stage 2 were always some of the finest tracks from Mega Man 4's music. I was more than pleased with how the arrangement turned out here.


Unlike the first Mega Man X title where there were multiple composers, X2 was handled by an individual, Yuki Iwai. X2's score isn't anywhere near as lauded as the first game, with some even taking issues with the choice of instruments that were used, but I can still appreciate the game's soundtrack. The ROCK-MEN are at it again, this time rocking out to the opening level theme of X2, quite possibly my favorite jam from that game.

Stage Select Medley from ROCKMAN1-10 - 25th Anniversary Rockman Techno Arrange Ver.

The sister album to the 25th Anniversary Rock Arrange Ver., this one is all about techno. The techno albums don't seem to quite get as much love as the rock versions but I've always favored techno just as much as rock. This stage select medley actually begins with the original Mega Man and then goes to 10, 9 and finally back to 1.

Opening Stage1 & Frostman from ROCKMAN8 - 25th Anniversary Rockman Techno Arrange Ver. 

Once again, we touch on one of the lesser appreciated Mega Man games. 8 has always been one of my top picks in spite of not being 8 bit like most of the classic series. Likewise, I greatly enjoyed much of the music, especially Frost Man's theme. The opening music, however, has never quite been my cup of tea. It isn't awful or anything, but I prefer this techno arrangement over it. The fact that it's thrown together with a Frost Man arrangement is even better. Best track on this album if you ask me.

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