Game music: Megaman 5

Megaman 5 Banner

With Mighty No. 9 around the corner I got to thinking about Megaman. And the music to the Mighty No. 9 trailer likewise got me thinking about Megaman’s music.

In terms of iconic NES games Megaman isn’t quite up there with Mario or Zelda but it’s certainly one of the greats. On the other hand the music is far from as memorable as Metroid or Tetris, and aside from a couple of tracks Megaman is remembered more for the robot masters and the punishing difficulty than its music. This is unfortunate and undeserved, as I’ve recently been learning.

Writing the soundtrack for a Megaman game must have been a particular challenge – not only do you have to have a common theme running throughout but you also have to theme each level on the robot master; this has always been a bit hit or miss, but in general I’m impressed with how well the games pulled it off.

Now, my favourite piece of Megaman music ever is actually a cover – A Crook Man’s Eyes by Nightswim, based on the Dark Man stage of Megaman 5. So of all the games in the series, I present for your aural pleasure, Megaman 5:

It was composed by Mari Yamaguchi who despite working for Capcom for several years only has this one Megaman game under her belt, though she did return to provide a robot master theme for Megaman 10. Perhaps it’s because this was her first Megaman game that makes the album stand out for me, or perhaps it’s just her own sound, but either way, Megaman 5 is a great example of the series’ music even if the game itself was a painfully phoned-in episode lacking not only innovation, but pretty much all the polish and balance that made the earlier games so enjoyable” (ouch).

Megaman has always been a bit of a hole in my gaming credentials, musically and otherwise, so expect to hear more on the subject in the future as I rectify this.

Leave a Reply

Post Navigation