“Metal Squad” is one of my favorite shmup tunes. It’s heavy metal, it’s brooding, it’s desperate. It’s that nice, driving series of guitar notes that makes the backbone of the track, with the key rising and falling to give different levels of drama and emotion. The stage this originally played in was from Thunder Force IV (aka Lightening Force, 1992) was a war machine factory deep inside an asteroid with mechs and biomechanical creatures that were a pain to destroy. It’s the type of mission that only a crack pilot has a slim chance of surviving, and even then the outcome is in doubt. Well, the whole game was kind of like that, but players who got really good at it could clear it. The high-pitch synth notes here give that little bit of hope flying above the ruins and the robots.
Broken Thunder -project THUNDER FORCE VI- (2005) is one of those interesting soundtracks. It was produced using tracks from the at the time canceled game Thunder Force VI. Technosoft was unable to finish the project, but somewhere along the way, the music was salvaged and released onto this great album. As such, this is one of the best soundtracks for a game that was never released (though Thunder Force VI was eventually released in 2008 for PS2 in Japan). “Metal Squad” is one of the few tracks on the album that’s remixed from a previous game, and the composer, Toshiaharu Yamanishi, also worked on 3 and 4 in the series, and this was the only track he remixed on the album.