Guardian Legend – “The Legend of Lightning Larry” (zyko)July 28, 2010
I started playing Guardian Legend (1988) lately. The game is a unique shmup created by Compile (makers of M.U.S.H.A., among others) and published by Irem (makers of R-Type). The game has an interesting design that is kind of a cross between Zelda and Gradius (with maybe a hint of Blaster Master), with a maze-like overworld in which you can walk in 8 directions and corridor stages where your character morphs into a spaceship to blast the evil empire. However, the game suffers from haphazard enemy placement and sub-par graphics, average music, among other things. Anyway, there are a few songs from the game that get stuck in my head, most notably the “Aqua Sector Corridor.”
“The Legend of Lightning Larry” is a remix of the “Aqua Sector Corridor” theme. The original version is a little short at 25 seconds for the loop, but the theme has a memorable melody that suffers from lack of proper development. Anyway, zyko’s mix takes a jazz/funk approach to the song. There’s some mean drum and bass here with enough development and interesting sounds to keep the song fresh through its four minute stint. At the end, there are explosions/thunder claps that work pretty well, too. I don’t know who Lightning Larry is, but he sure plays a mean guitar (and likely channels lazers from his hands like in Guardian Legend. Really breathes a lot of life into what is otherwise just an odd shmup.
One other remix that I think works well is “Xenogenesis” by Ubik from VGMix 2.0. This song is a mix of the “Wasteland Sector” and is a great electronica piece that rolls along quite nicely.
Masatomo Miyamoto and Takeshi Santo are together known as Miyamoto-Shant. Mr. Miyamoto seems to have quit the industry in the early 90s after his stint at Compile while Takeshi Santo continues to compose music today, his credits including Treasure Hunter G and Riveria: The Promised Land. Zyko (aka Waleed Hawatky) is an Egyptian with West Coast vibes, and has produced some interesting guitar arranges through Dwelling of Duels and VGMix 2.0 (remember his “Zombie Man” Mega Man 2 remix?).