by Jason Parker (Ragachak)
I get to talk about Megaman on OnRPG finally! Megaman is such a huge part of my childhood and even adulthood, and when I was offered a Megaman album to review from Materia Collective, I immediately lept on the chance. I think I’m going to do a little something different though – I plan on talking about the music and picking my favorite tracks out, but I think I might sprinkle in some Megaman facts in here because I have a lot of them. Megaman is one of the platforming franchises I enjoy the most, possibly more than Castlevania and Metroid. The concept is simple, and despite knowing, knowing that Dr. Wily’s always going to come back, the real question is how. Some of the Robot Masters are ludicrous (Turbo Man), and some are badass (Metal Man). Most of the Robot Masters have interesting factoids about them, like Bubble Man. Bubble Man was built with a flaw that won’t let him come up for air, so he’s trapped underwater, and is basically regarded as a failed creation and the weakest of his brothers.
C-Busters was arranged by Thennecan, whom I had never heard of until this album but I’m glad I did! Their arrangement skills are top-notch, and while it’s not hard to make already incredible music sound better, he’s managed it right here. The album definitely has a metal feel, which is all-too-appropriate, and it was not easy to pick my favorites, some definitely stood out because of bias in particular games. Like the quote beneath this, Mega Man 4 is one of my favorites of all time. It was not one of my first games, but it is the only Mega Man game I owned a copy of as a kid until Mega Man X. The rest I rented/borrowed as I could. C-Busters is a loving tribute to an incredible franchise, and it’s my sincere hope that Mega Man 11 kicks more ass than any game before it.
“Mega Man 4 is one of the first games I ever played, and it is one of my favourites to
this day,” comments arranger Thennecan. “Mega Man has an extremely faithful
community of people who have kept it alive for decades, so I definitely wanted to
make my own contribution. While I had to leave some of my favourite tracks out to
represent the whole series, I loved every track on the album for different reasons. I
really hope Capcom is able to revive the franchise with Mega Man 11, there are a lot
of fans waiting!”
Skull Man (Track 11, Mega Man IV): On an album that has “Dr. Wily – Stage 2” from Mega Man 2, it’s very hard to say that one stood above it, but this one managed nicely. Skull Man’s theme has a killer guitar riff, and the pulse-pounding drum one could expect to have in combat. The stage sound effects were a nice touch (it sounded like the death pulse), and I feel like it could definitely see its way into an 80s action film with the combo of keyboard, electric guitar and drums. Skull Man is fascinating, in that he was the first Robot Master built directly to fight, that I can think of. Others were re-purposed for battle, and typically did construction and similar jobs. But Dr. Cossak built Skull Man specifically to fight, and that’s wonderful. Weakness: Dust Man’s Dust Crusher.
Air Man (Track 3, Mega Man II): Can I just say, first off, that Air Man can go to Hell? Because he absolutely goddamn can. He was the hardest boss for me to fight as a kid, and I just could not make it work. This was before I knew you went to Metal Man first, then Wood Man, then Air Man. This is also before I knew that you can spam Metal Blade through every stage and be fine. This is an incredible arrangement of Air Man’s music, and it feels urgent, almost. It starts off fast, with amazing shredding, then shifts to the piano, only to return to a steady guitar jamming away on the track. It’s fitting too, because you start off jumping quick, trying to be clever, only to realize the correct way to play (unless you’re a speed runner) is to be patient. That gets tedious, so it’s back to running and gunning with speed! Air Man is not a fan of the Fall Season, since it clogs his giant turbine fan, but his body type was so successful, it was dubbed the “Air Man Type”, and was seen again in Needle Man and other Wily creations. Plus, who didn’t jam out to Team Nekokan’s “Can’t Defeat Airman”? Weakness: Wood Man’s Leaf Shield.
Guts Man (Track 6, Mega Man I): Another boss that I absolutely hate, I’ve never actually beat Mega Man. The original Mega Man, that is. I, to this day, cannot do it. I really enjoy the slow, plodding sound of the Guts Man track, it sounds sinister and menacing, the crushing weight of Guts Man’s bricks just waiting to be hurled at you. That’s when the song picks up, tempo increasing with Mega Man’s need to avoid those gigantic, stupid, dumb bricks. Guts Man was a civil engineering robot designed by Dr. Light and was a foreman, who dealt primarily in construction and worked alongside Bomb Man. Dr. Wily used Guts Man more than once though and repurposed him a second time as the Guts Dozer, a gigantic version of Guts Man well, with a bulldozer attached. Fun fact, Guts Man is one of the two most-appearing bosses in the series, next to Cut Man. Weakness: Bomb Man’s Hyper Bomb.
Dr. Wily, Stage 2 (Track 14, Mega Man II): Come on, how could I not include this? I believe every video game band on the entire planet has done a version of Dr. Wily, Stage 2 from Mega Man 2. Brentalfloss, Duane and Brando, The Megas, you name it. It’s probably the most well-known music from Mega Man. As the first/second stage music to Dr. Wily’s castle, it has to really convey a certain message. This is the second part of your journey, but arguably the hardest. It is time for Mega Man to climb an ominous skull castle, to battle with Dr. Wily, maybe even to beat him once and for all. This is music that a climax of an action film deserves, with the hero chasing down the villain, leaping over obstacles and explosions, obliterating whatever enemies are in his way, and swearing violently at the Dragon Boss. Okay, maybe that was just me. . . Anyway, this stands up with all the other amazing Dr. Wily tracks I’ve heard (and I’ve heard a lot of them), and despite being a familiar song, the arrangement stands up on its own two feet, as it should. For everlasting peace. Weakness: Having 9 lives and a ton of patience.
Please feel free to grab this album at the following locations. If you’re a Mega Man/metal fan, I recommend it highly: