8-Bit Mondays: Metal Gear 2 – “Theme of Solid Snake” (Masahiro Ikariko)November 24, 2009
Here’s a classic tune from Metal Gear 2 – Solid Snake (1990) on the MSX2. Solid Snake is the second game i the Metal Gear series, today more popularly known as Metal Gear Solid. Its tagline is “Tactical Espionage Action,” and the game is about sneaking moreso than fighting (which isn’t to say the series doesn’t have its fair share of combat).
This is one of the best tracks in the game, and has great progression and buildup, perfect for sneaking! I simply love the way the track sounds; it’s pretty unique and demonstrates that Konami has always been able to get the most out of a sound chip. The MSX2’s audio chip produces a fantastic metallic sound using sequencing. Metal Gear 2 enjoyed a soundtrack release in 1991. The track’s composer is often listed simply as ‘Konami Kukeiha Club’, but Super Smash Bros. Brawl lists the composer as Masahiro Ikariko, who also helped compose Sunset Riders (1993) and Sparkster (1994).
The MSX was a home computer built by Microsoft’s Japanese division, and hardly found its way outside of Japan. The name reads MicroSoft eXtended. The MSX2, released in 1986, had much more RAM along with a superior graphics processor and sound chip. Metal Gear 2 thus plays on a Yamaha YM2149 (a licensed General Instruments AY-3-8910), a programmable sound chip. I suspect it was slightly better to program for because it ran on a PC rather than a game console. In all, the system was more powerful than the NES/Famicom, but lacked the strong software support that the home consoles had.