Mega Man 6 – Intercontinental Contenders – “Silver Setting Sun” (Vurez)February 27, 2010
What’s this? Two tracks by Vurez in two days? No, scratch that – two WESTERN tracks in two days!? Yes, Vurez composed not one, but two western-themed tracks (actually three if you remember “New Mexican Thunderbird“). Vurez seems at his best when he’s using the acoustic guitar – “Silver Setting Sun” simply oozes the American Southwest and the glory of the spaghetti western soundtrack. It is the most western-ish of Vurez’s pieces, and the fine use of western soundtrack staples – acoustic guitar, flute, trumpet, drums, and choral – all converge to create a tour de force of cowboy glory based off the original theme of “Tomahawk Man”, the cowboy-themed robot master from Mega Man 6 (1993).
The main loop of “Silver Setting Sun” is 1:19 in length, and there are several imaginative variations on the theme used throughout the track along with plenty of original material. The foundation of the song is a fantastic, deep drum with a steady beat that, again, gives the driving sense of cowboys on horseback. The flute and choral chanting provide a sense of exoticism, while Vurez’s trumpet adds nobility, heroism, and the rugged American male (idealized of course), particularly in the solo beginning at 2:05. Later on in the piece at 3:24, there is a choral solo, which is actually a recording of Vurez singing into the mic. He has a wonderful voice which integrates excellently into the rest of the piece. Finally, at 4:10, there are choral ‘bum bum bum’s (a kind which was later used in “Ride to Demonhead”) which fade the song out into the sunset. (Incidentally, the theme is kind of ironic because Tomahawk Man is modeled after an Indian warrior.)
Mega Man 6 was blessed with being released towards the end of the NES’s lifespan, which means that by this time Capcom’s composers, such as the game’s composer, Yuko Takehara (Mega Man 10, Mega Man X), had mastered the technology of the system and even added new programmable sound chips (psg’s) to improve the sound quality and add sound channels with sampled instruments to longer songs. As a result, the original version from the compilation album (2002) has a great western feel to it, with a fine drumline along with the bold square waves and strong compositions expected from Capcom. The track has been remixed a few other times, most notably the rock mix from 20th Anniversary Rockman 1-6 Rock Arrange Ver. The theme was also remixed in Rockman Complete Works for the PlayStation, as a dance track, though the synths make it feel a little Italian…
“Silver Setting Sun” is from an independent album composed by Vurez over a span of several years, Intercontinental Contenders, which remixes the robot master themes from Mega Man 6. Each master was given an ethnically themed song that matched his home country: Plant Man has a South American feel, Flame Man a Middle Eastern tone, and Blizzard Man a new age tune of the frozen north. The album is an amazing project that is available for free through Vurez’s website.