It's that time again! All the news you can use with no time to lose, it's Ripot's Round-Up!Read More
Capcom Unity has released the track list for their second upcoming Mega Man anniversary album: "MM25: Mega Man Rocks." This album features songs old and new by Mega Man and gaming tribute bands. What's more, you can have a listen to some samples, too.Read More
Probably not many have heard of MAGFest, which is short for the Music and Gaming Festival. It is a small convention that takes place in the Gaylord Hotel down by Washington DC's beautiful National Harbor.
Fellow TMMN poster and Cool Awesome Artist (tm), rnn and I decided to head down for the weekend and take in the sights and sounds of the gaming culture. There was a lot of Mega Man goodness to behold indeed! This is going to be a hefty post, with posts and videos, so hang onto your socks!
While we didn't get to see them perform, we did catch The Megas Q n A panel, which was being lead by Brentalfloss. Their panel had a lot of Mega Man questions thrown at them, and some interesting tidbits came about about their process and their work with CAPCOM and Epic Scents. We took some loose notes, so we're sort of paraphrasing the questions and answers here.
Q: How do they go about creating a song? What's their process? A: The method is that they think of the story and characterization first, then lyrics and tune start falling into place. Finding the angle for the Robot Masters most difficult one for them. For example was Needle Man. One of the members had started to write out the song and plan his story. Needle man, is he a drug addict? Another joke was when someone wrote a first draft, one of them had written just "guitaaar soolooo" in there. It's now a running gag with them. They settle on the lyrics based on whoever is most passionate about it and compromise from there.
Q: I know they performed music for Mega Man Universe. Were they sad to see the project cancelled? A: Yes. Also, they were supposed to get paid for every commercial they did for MMU but never did.
Q: Will they be doing any more tours? A: Maybe an East coast tour? They think they're overdue for an east coast one since three years ago. (Come perform at Otakon, guys!)
Q: Will they do anymore podcasts? A: May do a Mega Man podcast, but the only reason they don't is because " Nnnnn we probably better write a song"
Q: Most gratifying song? A: History Repeating probably the most gratifying and gave them direction for their next album.
Q: About the song they did for Epic Scents. Did they have total control, or did they have certain things to put into the song? A: "Get equipped with scent busters" line was the one line they had to use and had free reign for the rest of the song. While creating it, they had to think about the characters and scents, translating those into lyrics. Mega Man was sort of young and innocence, with a clean scent. Proto Man was more rebellion and....cinnamon apple pie. There you have it, Young and Innocence, Rebellion and Pie.
The Protomen were also in attendance this year, rocking up the concert floor. Hearing them live is a very intense experience. With all that energy on stage and audience, they rock things pretty hard. If they're playing near you, I highly recommend attending their concerts.
We were also excited to see Kinuyo Yamashita. She is the wonderful music talent behind Mega Man X3. We were very lucky to get a photo, as by the time we got up to her, they were only allowing signatures. So rnn and I used feminine wiles on the gophers. While most of the fans attending the panel seemed to be there for her Castlevania work or her life as a composer, there were one or two questions about her Mega Man experiences:
Q: Was there any homages to Guns n Roses with Neon Tiger's theme? A: When I wrote Neon Tiger's theme at the time, I was not aware of them. *jokingly* Maybe they copied off me.
Q: When writing Zero's theme, what were you trying to convey about the character? A: Cool!
Seeing bands on stage is excellent, but the remix DJs they had were also excellent as well! We got introduced to DJ Cut Man's music for the first time. (Facebook and twitter)He has a great intro to his routine as well, so I had to capture some video along with a few of his songs.
OverClocked ReMix was also there, hosting a few panels. You may remember them as the chaps who did Maverick Rising album and the Wily Castle Remix Gauntlet. Not only were their panels awesome, one of their own Benjamin Briggs was DJing for the night. He only played one Mega Man Mix (Boomer Kuwanger+Magna Centipede mix) but his other remixes were excellent, so I recommend a listen.
There was also "new" non-music people to meet. I finally had the honor to meet fellow TMMNer Andrew Dickman (Starfield Creations) in person. We podcast enough together, now we can put faces to the names. I forgot to get a photo, because I'm a dummy and figured we'd get one on Saturday, but kept missing each other. Greg Sepelak AKA MSipher was also in attendance (He's been in the Mega Man fandom forever, and I believe wrote some of the MM Brady Game guides back in the day), but he somehow dodged me the whole weekend. Next year, Gadget. Next year! I also ran into Jesse DuRona in the Market, manning his own table with his excellent wares. You might remember him as the artist who does Despondent Mega Man. If you haven't read it yet, go do it, now!
Let's not forget about the wonderful cosplayers as well. While MAGFest isn't as big of a cosplay scene as say, Otakon, there were still some fantastic Mega Man fans roaming around all suited up and ready for battle!
TMMN reader TerrorTabby was in an amazing Proto Man cosplay. She's lucky I didn't pick her up and cart her off. ....Or steal her helmet. Or both, really. Tony Murray was spotted as Vile, strutting around looking like he popped right out of his D-Arts box.
A random group of Robot Masters with Dr. Wily was spotted roaming around! (There was a Wood Man, but somehow he kept dodging our cameras). There was also a Zero, Time Man and Elec Man roaming around, but we did not get them on camera as well.
All in all, it was a great convention! If you happen to be in the area and love video game music, I highly encourage you to attend MAGFest. It's also a great convention for first timers, as it's not as large as Otakon, PAX or Comic Con.
Special Thanks to rnn for her photos and help writing this post!
After four long years of work, The Megas' Mega Man 3 inspired album History Repeating: Blue will release on June 30th for $10. It is the first of two albums based on 3.
A couple years back we interviewed The Megas on our podcast and got to sample one of their tracks, the Spark Man themed Sparked A War (the song above). Now you can head over to their homepage and listen to a few additional choice cuts from the album.
Be sure to check it out!
News Credit: Capcom Unity
By James “GS Edgeman” Riser Music is an important variable in the equation of a good game, almost as important as graphics and game play, and the wrong type of music can easily break the immersion of a title. For example, Mega Man's frantic, fast paced music sets the appropriate tone for its levels. The player gains a sense of urgency as he guides The Blue Bomber on an adventure to save the world.
Communities are constantly reminding us of music's importance in the ways of remixes, songs, and even bands dedicated to certain video game characters and series. If one was to check on YouTube and OverClocked Remix, they would find plenty of remixes and interpretations of various video game themes.
More recently, remix artists from OverClocked collaborated on an album entirely dedicated to the music of Mega Man 9. Tracks like these show how much fans value the music of their favorite games, just as they value any other aspect.
Bands whose themes revolve around video game music (or something similar) are not uncommon these days; The Minibosses, HORSE the band, and The Black Mages are a few examples, while some dedicated musicians devote their efforts to a specific game or series.
The Protomen are a concept band and their music tells a darker version of the classic Mega Man series's storyline. Founded in 2003, The Protomen met at the Middle Tennessee State Institute and were enrolled in the recording program. The creation of the band came by the way of recording material needed for their classes. Eventually, the band moved to Nashville and integrated into the city's independent music scene.
Reflecting on their entrance into the scene in a 2009 interview, lead vocalist, Panther said, “At the time, we noticed a void in rock and roll. A hole that could only really be filled with grown men and women painting up like robots and playing some fierce and furious rock music based on a 1980's video game. We were fairly certain no one else was going to fill that hole. But, by God, it's filled now. You can thank us later."
As you can tell, the band is no stranger to humor when it comes to their interviews, but they take the story line weaved throughout their tracks seriously.
The Protomen's version of the classic Mega Man storyline is just as epic as the source material. Imagine Mega Man with a darker, Orwellian twist on it. While they do keep in most of the staple story elements, some liberties were taken.
In their first album, Dr. Wily has already taken over the world, turning it into a miserable place were he has total control. The human race doesn't see it in themselves to take the fight to Wily, so they sit complacently while their rights are taken away. Dr. Light creates Proto Man and sends him off to take the city back for mankind.
Sadly, Proto Man is overwhelmed by Wily's forces and is destroyed. Although Dr. Light creates a second robot, he discourages him from taking up the fight in Proto Man's place.
The third track on the self-titled album, “Unrest in the House of Light,” is performed from the point of view of Dr. Light as he urges his son not to fight. He tells the story of Proto Man: “And he fought bravely, and he died bravely/But he was forsaken by the ones he wished to save/And when he died he died in vain/You need to know/You are not him.” The song itself is played in a classic rock, story telling vein.
The rest of the album details Mega Man defying his father's wishes as he continues the fight of Proto Man. “The Will of One” is a powerful track that portrays the events of Mega Man walking through the ruined city. He observes the humans as they stand around passively, afraid to stand up for themselves: “There is an evil that holds them here/ yet they won't try breaking its grasp.” One doesn't have to try hard to draw out the darker elements of the classic Mega Man story line.
Similarly, Archie Comics' Mega Man uses the concept that fighting and violence can change even the most passive person as a theme. It illustrates the idea that even if fighting is done in the name of good and peace, it is still fighting and it is still ugly and disheartening.
The Protomen's second album, "Act II: Father of Death,” is a prequel to their first title and details the relationship and falling out of Dr. Light and Dr. Wily, even going so far as to create a love interest for Dr. Light. While the concept of the two albums is interesting enough, the musical style sets them apart as well.
The Protomen employ various musical styles in their works. When recording their first album, the group strove to break all the rules they have learned in college. Synth player Commander B. Hawkins reflects on their decision, “[Act I] was made specifically to go against everything our recording teachers and fellow students were trying to feed us about making everything sound pristine and 'perfect.'"
This mindset very much fits the tone of the album. The city is in disarray and lies in ruins. The lo-fi sound reflects that perfectly. Their second album was produced by Alan Shacklock, who is known for working with Meat Loaf. Since it's a prequel, the songs carry a type of production that reflects a world where mankind hasn't been crushed under the iron fist rule of Dr. Wily and nothing has gone wrong as of yet.
Another interesting thing to point out is that, aside from Proto Man's whistle on “Unrest in the House of Light,” there is no direct musical references to the Mega Man series: Each song is unique and stands on its own. Someone who isn't entirely familiar with Mega Man can enjoy the tracks, which range from hard rock and rockabilly to synthesized rock hailing from the 1980s.
The Protomen use the Mega Man series to create an epic rock opera, and that's what makes them unique. The Megas, on the other hand, is a slightly more traditional video game themed band.
At first glance, The Megas would seem like just another remix band, but like The Protomen, what makes them stand out is the lyrics they add to the songs. Josh Breeding, founding member of the group, started making remixes early on, and his first song was “I Want to be the One,” a remix of Mega Man 2's Dr. Wily's stage theme.
He performed this song at a school talent show, eventually gathering together other musicians. Similar to The Protomen, The Megas are willing to build on the already established story line and flesh it out a bit. The difference between the two, however, is that The Megas seem to stick a bit closer to the original source material.
Their first album, "Get Equipped," focuses on the music of Mega Man 2. The majority of tracks are re-interpretations of the boss's stage themes, and the added lyrics give each boss a story to tell. There's even a reference to Mosteropolis, the name of the city in the U.S. version of the Mega Man game manual in their remix of Air Man's stage. Titled “The Annihilation of Monsteropolis,” Air Man declares, “I will fly high above Monsteropolis, and I'll rain terror down on the general populace.”
As one can tell, their lyrics border on the humorous side. For example, in an interpretation of Metal Man's stage called "Metal Dance," it opens up with, “Welcome to my level, my name is Metal Man/ I throw metal blades from my metal hands!”
The last song on the album, however touches on a constant theme that permeates other interpretations of the Mega Man story as well. “Lamentations of a War Machine” finds Mega Man questioning his actions in the aftermath of Dr. Wily's defeat: “If I’ve a heart made of steel/Then does that mean I cannot feel/ Remorse for everything I’ve done/ My hand’s a smoking gun!”
Their musical style also helps them to stand apart. The Megas is a fully equipped (pun intended) band that includes vocals, guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards. Each track shows that every member of the group is an accomplished musician. The guitar work perfectly captures the sound of the 8-bit originals, but gives it an edge. This is what ties both bands together.
What makes The Protomen and The Megas unique isn't the fact that they're bands that center around the Mega Man series, but that their music can stand on its own. The idea has been stated before that someone who has never played a Mega Man game before can enjoy the work of The Protomen, and that can also be applied to The Megas.
Both of these groups are comprised of accomplished musicians who can easily make great music and lyrics that don't have anything to do with video games. It's their love for the series that transcends their work and show how much love fans have for the media.
While Capcom seems to have put The Blue Bomber on the back burner for the time being, it's The Protomen, The Megas, and the myriad of high quality remix artists on OverClocked Remix that will keep the interest alive. Musical tributes are only one example of high quality fan made content; there's fan art, games, videos and much more. I am sure that Capcom sees this, and will eventually give us something to look forward to in the near future.
First off I need to apologize. Although there's no specific posting schedule, this podcast is coming a little delayd both due to my poor scheduling abilities and Minecraft addiction. But this is the October episode, and it is October, so I win!
In this very awesome (or maybe underwhelming) episode of The Megacast, I am joined again by Mainfinger and Tabby as we talk about Mega Man games that have no real concrete information surrounding them, making for lots of thrilling speculation and astounding guessing! Though I will admit that the whole effort might all be lost had we not been joined for an interview with awesome Mega Man rock band THE MEGAS. They (three-fourths of them anyway) appear to talk about their inspirations, stuff in the works, and deliver their recent single You've Sparked A War for our musical break. Definitely the highlight! Oh, and Dr. Wily comes around too. And, well... can't spoil everything!
I know some of you have been asking for a page that organizes the new podcast series. This is something we will definitely do, I assure you. We're always busy here on The Mega Man Network, and after some stuff clears up, liking mining some obsidian and making some spare diamond swords, I will personally see that it gets done. For now, enjoy! And send in your Dr. Wily questions! Also, if you have any suggestions for discussion topics, by all means put them here, in our forum, or e-mail us.