20th Anniversary Rockman 1~6 Rock Arrange – Dr. Wiley 1 (Rockman 2) mix (rem. Toh-ru Iwao)

November 6, 2009

Today’s Daily is another awesome rock mix, this time from the aptly named Rockman 2 (1988), more popularly known as Mega Man 2 in the US. To help celebrate Mega Man’s 20th anniversary, Capcom released a bunch of games, music, and paraphernalia, including the completely awesome 20th Anniversary Rockman 1~6 Arrange Album, which was arranged by guitar bandit king Toh-ru Iwao, of Guilty Gear fame. “Dr. Wiley 1 (Rockman 2) mix” is my favorite piece, but the entire album is amazing and includes an epic medley of the title themes for Rockman 2-6. My only real complaint is that the original Famicom mixes fade out before the end. You can pick it up from Play Asia now for about $30, plus shipping (I know, expensive, even though it IS on sale this week – this is why they need to put these on digital distribution!).

20th Anniversary Rockman 1~6 Arrange – Dr. Wiley 1 (Rockman 2) mix (rem. Toh-ru Iwao)

This is a gorgeous remix. Dr. Wiley’s Stage 1 theme is one of my favorites in the Mega Man 2 soundtrack, and it translates perfectly into rock. From the driving drum beat to the heavy guitars, this is the way a boss stage theme should be. The piece simply feels like a mad scientist’s castle with the hero’s desperate, determined climb to the top; it has this tinge of melancholy for the robot apocalypse that has befallen the city. The recording quality is absolutely stupendous as well – you can hear the strings of the guitar being grated as he rocks it (incidentally, I was at a concert once where if you sat close enough you could hear the actual picks as well!). VGM rock just doesn’t get much better than this.

The original soundtrack was composed by Ogeretsu Kun, Manami Matsumae, and Yoshihiro Sakaguchi (note that Matsumae-san is another of Capcom’s female composers!), and is considered one of the best soundtracks in the series, which is quite something considering later games made use of the Famicom’s superior hardware.

Rockman is known for a mix of blues and rock, with many tracks following the pentatonic scale. The entire series has some great music, and many of the characters have references to the music. The protagonist, Mega Man, is known as Rockman in Japan. His sister is Roll, while his evil brother, Protoman, is known as Blues in Japan. Other musically-inspired characters include Beat, the helpful bird, and the dark duo Bass and Treble.

And by the way, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: Mega Man 2 was, and still is, the best!


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