Posts Tagged ‘Metal Gear’

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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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Super Smash Bros. Brawl – “Theme of Tara” (arr. Takahiro Nishi) (2008)

January 27, 2010

Today I’ve got yet another Konami track for you, which doubles as another Super Smash Bros. Brawl track! (I must say, Brawl has a fantastic soundtrack – such a wide range of music, all popular themes from popular games!) This track is “Theme of Tara” from the original Metal Gear (1987) on the MSX2. This is great sneaking music that plays (in 8-bit form) throughout most of the game. In Brawl, this song plays in the Shadow Moses stage.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl – Metal Gear – “Theme of Tara” (arr. Takahiro Nishi)

I love “Theme of Tara” from the cheesy almost 8-bit trumpets that begin “Theme of Tara” to the slick ’60s Peter Gunn-esque guitar complete with bongo drums! (It is well documented that bongos will change a song from ‘good’ to ‘awesome’.) There are even a few mechanical chirps, referencing the sound chips it came from. I think the trumpets make it feel like Snake is saluting his superior officers before jumping in the plane and parachuting into the jungle – a really quick, simple videogame cutscene from the 1980s that tells all you need to know efficiently in all of four seconds. From this point, it’s perfect espionage music, with Snake sneaking around in the jungle and concrete bunkers – you can almost smell the cardboard box. It’s serious, it’s cool, and it’s fun – just what you’d expect from classic vgm! The Brawl mix also has some parallels with Metal Gear Solid 3, also set in the ’60s. While the loop is fairly short (and about average for vgm in1987), it has excellent rhythm and melody, which makes it a keeper. The style is also unique from the traditional ‘Konami Sound’ fare of the 1980s, feeling a tad more orchestral and seeming more in line with Hideo Kojima’s unique design philosophy. And where does the name of the song come from? Well, according to The Metal Gear Wiki, it’s because the beat sounded like “ta-rah” to Hideo Kojima!

“Theme of Tara” was originally composed by Iku Mizutani (Shadow of the Ninja, Renegade). The theme doesn’t make good use of the MSX2 sound system (unlike Solid Snake) Read the rest of this entry ?

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8-Bit Mondays: Metal Gear 2 – “Theme of Solid Snake” (Masahiro Ikariko)

November 24, 2009

Here’s a classic tune from Metal Gear 2 – Solid Snake (1990) on the MSX2. Solid Snake is the second game i the Metal Gear series, today more popularly known as Metal Gear Solid. Its tagline is “Tactical Espionage Action,” and the game is about sneaking moreso than fighting (which isn’t to say the series doesn’t have its fair share of combat).

Metal Gear 2 – “Theme of Solid Snake” (Konami Kukeiha Club)

This is one of the best tracks in the game, and has great progression and buildup, perfect for sneaking! I simply love the way the track sounds; it’s pretty unique and demonstrates that Konami has always been able to get the most out of a sound chip. The MSX2’s audio chip produces a fantastic metallic sound using sequencing. Metal Gear 2 enjoyed a soundtrack release in 1991. The track’s composer is often listed simply as ‘Konami Kukeiha Club’, but Super Smash Bros. Brawl lists the composer as Masahiro Ikariko, who also helped compose Sunset Riders (1993) and Sparkster (1994).

The MSX was a home computer built by Microsoft’s Japanese division, Read the rest of this entry ?