8-Bit Mondays: Mega Man 2 – “Flashman Stage” (Takashi Tateishi)May 3, 2010
It’s always hard to do a classic tune like “Flash Man” justice. Mega Man 2 (Rockman 2: The Mystery of Dr. Wiley in Japan) is one of the top – if not the best soundtrack in the series, and one of the best on the NES. If you haven’t checked out the soundtrack yet, you’d better get on it! Anyway, Flash Man’s stage is a real beast, with bursts of insta-kill light energy you must dodge with all the haste of a master breakdancer. Super-slick!
EDIT: Nope, that description was of Quick Man’s stage (you gotta be quick to get through it, and Flash Man’s Flash Stopper is what helps you get through the stage). Flash Man’s stage was a giant maze of weird disco ice blocks. Honestly, all these stages start to blend together after you’ve played about three Mega Man games… AAANYWAY, here’s a couple new mixes to try and make up for that error – First, Chom-Studio’s rendition from Rockman Iwao-Ni Side B (2004), and second The Advantage’s awesome rock arrange – definitely two of the best arrange groups out there, and these are two of the best arranges.
Flash Man opens like Disco Man from hell, with a slick hand-clapping beat and a flurry of dance notes in an oddly long intro section that repeats for times. This is a great build for the main portion, which steps smoothly into the pentatonic scale for some nice action after a burst of exploding drums at 0:25. The second half of “Flash Man” has an excellent beat with dull thumps and bright bursts of the high hats creating a solid drumline, complete with Mega Man‘s trademark bubbling pops. The meat of the song is this two-part segment, the first low and mellow, the second high and wavy, but both smooth and slick, with long whole notes that leave dance steps in the mind. Each section repeats twice, making the entire track loop at 0:51 and every 26 seconds thereafter – that’s it! This is classic Rockman through and through. Flash Man has stepped out of time to show us how it’s done. He’s the dancin’ king.
Takashi Tateishi doesn’t seem to have composed anything other than Mega Man II. Which is a shame, considering how the soundtrack is the best in the series (I don’t say that lightly – there are plenty of excellent Mega Man soundtracks). Interesting, Tateishi-san’s nickname, Ogeretsu Kun, implies rudeness. This was back in the days when Capcom forced its team members to add pseudonyms in the credits, as the story goes for fear that someone might hire them away.
Most “Flash Man” remixes are dance or electronica, probably because the song does not translate very well into rock. OCR has a bunch of mixes – including some cool combinations with “Dr. Wiley Stage 1“, but a few lesser-known ones include GeckoYamori’s groovitude “Flash C64“, Tepid’s trippy “Flashman’s Fifth Dimension“, and Project X’s rock version. And then of course there’s Beat the 8 Super Robots with 8-Bit Instrumental, a wonderfully original take on the soundtrack by those boys from Brazil.