Berserker – “Mega Man X: Sigma Level 1” (NESkimos)November 29, 2009
The Neskimos are another popular vgm rock covers band. Their rendition of “Sigma Level 1” from Mega Man X (1991) is pretty cool and matched by the awesomeness of their album cover with its Viking bearing NES heraldry of Berserker (2004).
“Sigma Level 1” is full of both determination and loss. The NESkimos’ interpretation has some great emptiness to the track due to the low number of instruments, and what are there (drums, guitars, sax) serve to further accent the notes. In this phase of the game, Mega Man X and his friend, Zero, finally arrive at Sigma’s fortress, a barren, rocky outcrop over a vast abyss with the crags of cruel, cold mountains in the distance. The setting is a wasteland, product of Sigma’s war with the humans, and at the top lies his mechanical fortress full of mechanical monsters. However, the theme becomes fully melancholic in the decisive battle with Sigma’s henchman, the Boba Fett-esque Vile, who attacks with his ridiculously overpowered Ride Armor and defeats both X and Zero in battle. Zero manages to jump on the back of the Ride Armor and detonates his beam saber, destroying the mech. X regains his energy and defeats Vile, but Zero, who was blown in half by the explosion, dies. All of this is packed into the theme, which sets the stage for the final showdown with Sigma.
While it’s not like Zero ever did anything in this game (other than having a pretty cool – if short – theme song), I think his death touched a chord with a lot of younger players. You kind of looked up to Zero as an older brother who saved you in the battle with Vile in the opening sequence (even if he had long blond rocker hair which made us wonder for awhile if he was a guy robot or a chick robot). Of course, he always seemed to get the easy jobs of ‘scouting ahead’ and ‘destroying the central computer’, but fans loved him so much that not only was he brought back, but he also became a playable character by Mega Man X3 (1995).
NESKimos are a pretty sweet rock band who made most of their music freely available on their website. Mega Man X (aka Rockman X) was composed by a whole bunch of guys from Capcom’s sound team: Setsuo Yamamoto, Makoto Tomozawa, Yuki Iwai, Yuko Takehara & Toshihiko Horiyama. I don’t think it’s ever been recorded who composed this particular song.