Metal Gear Series – “My Frequency is 140.85” (arr. Virt)

January 28, 2010

I feel I owe something of an update for the last Daily. Upon reflection, “Theme of Tara” really isn’t that good – it’s a pretty flat theme and actually a bit repetitive. It’s more of a fun nostalgic piece than anything else. It’s kind of sad because the NES version of Metal Gear has a much better soundtrack – but isn’t considered an official part of the series as it was ported rather than designed by Kojima. In fact, the composer, Kazuki Muraoka, was later enlisted to compose nearly every other Kojima work, including the entire Metal Gear Solid series! So to show you some Metal Gear music that’s more than just a one-trick pony (even if it’s a fun trick), here’s Virt’s (aka Jake Kauffman) master medley, “My Frequency is 140.85”.

Metal Gear Series – “My Frequency is 140.85” (arr. Virt)

What can I say? This is a fantastic medley of Metal Gear (NES) and Metal Gear Solid. It begins with a wonderfully atmospheric Peter Gunn rendition of the main sneaking theme from Metal Gear. The nice interplay of guitar and strings gives a sense of both seriousness and intrigue. From there it moves onto the main section, which is presented more as a one-man military march that really kicks off at about 0:50. Virt uses a Schecter 007 guitar for that awesome sound. As you can see, the “Main Theme” has a much better build than “Theme of Tara”, along with a far more developed and dynamic composition. It’s a damn shame this track did not appear in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. At the end of this section (1:28 ) you can hear the sound of a truck starting. Snake has just snuck into the back of a truck and been transported to the base!

The “Base” theme is another great tune from the NES Metal Gear. It’s simpler, but gives a sense of the concrete interior space full of crates, trucks, and soldiers with Sneaking around. The “Alert” theme at about 3:10 (I’m just pulling names out as there doesn’t seem to be an official track list) isn’t one of the better tunes – it is shorter and simplistic, used mainly to spur the player to escape and avoid the enemy.

Finally, we have the “Metal Gear Solid Main Theme” from Metal Gear Solid (4:10), which is the most popular Metal Gear song. The strings give a sense of the loneliness and determination of Snake on his mission to save the world while the guitar highlights the combat. This is a pretty good rendition of the theme, but there are better and more developed ones on the Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty album as well as Video Games Live, but I think the synth strings here combined with the guitar give it a unique sound. Still, the entire medley is a rocking good time, and was for awhile the highest-rated track on VGMix X. It’s also the best rendition of the NES Metal Gear theme out there.

140.85 is the radio frequency of Otakon in Metal Gear Solid 2. Otakon serves as an advisor for Snake on his missions after first being rescued in Metal Gear Solid. The voice at the end, performed by Virt, is what Otakon says whenever Snake is killed and the player gets a game over. Incidentally, I always thought that Snake’s scream at the end (“AAARGH!”) sounds a bit like “KHAAAN!”


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