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
Hope may ride alone, but at least we can all enjoy cool artwork as a collective. An artist named Billosopher recently drew a wicked-looking comic that narrates the events in the song "Hope Rides Alone" by The Protomen. It’s certainly a slick-looking number. Note: Billosopher’s choice of comic reader starts the action on the last page, so you need to scroll over to the first page if you want to read it from the beginning. Unfortunately, the current layout kind of spoils the outcome of the story—but you probably already knew things weren’t going to work out well for Protoman, anyway. You can also indulge via a more simplified archive.
Billosopher plans to continue the comic, so maybe we’ll get our happy ending after all! (Audience laughs, applauds)
Thanks for the tip, Diego!
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!
We don't often report too much about the Mega Man rock opera group The Protomen in this space, but knowing how popular they are throughout the fandom, we thought it might be fitting to pass along this intriguing bit of news. The group sent out an e-mail to their mailing list, alerting them that they will not be able to make their scheduled appearances with Powerglove (May 25th in Pittsburgh, PA - Altar Bar), Creature Feature (May 26th in Howell, MI - Bled Fest), and Danimal Cannon (May 27th in Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom). "We think the ... shows are still happening without us," they note, adding "If you've already purchased tickets, we urge you to attend even though we won't be there, because they're still going to be awesome shows. If you haven't gotten your tickets yet, you can still get them at the links below. Bring the thunder in our stead. However, if the shows get canceled entirely, you will be notified by the ticket vendor."
Now, what makes this interesting is the reason behind these stops being removed from the tour.
From the e-mail:
Several days ago, I got fancy phone call from some fancy people associated with some other fancy people that were asking us to play a fancy show with them at a fancy venue in a fancy town for a lot of fancy people. After first sh***ing myself and then immediately telling them no-way because of fierce (not so fancy) scheduling difficulties, I came to realize that fancy people like this only come calling every-so-often, so we decided I should call the fancy people back and try to "work it out." And "work it out," we did…
I know you're pooping yourself right now in anticipation, so I'll just cut the long-winded jackalackery right now and tell you. Tenacious D asked us to play with them next month in Vancouver. It's going to be absolutely amazing. We've been wanting to do this for a very long time.
In case you're unfamiliar, Tenacious D is the band for which Kung Fu Panda and School of Rock star Jack Black is the guitarist and lead vocalist. And while we're not sure how highly they rank in the world of music, one can imagine that being called to perform with them must seem like a pretty big deal for a group of guys who sing Mega Man fan fiction.
Incidentally, we do know that Black is a fan of video games-- he's professed his love for Tim Schafer's Psychonauts and went on to voice the lead character of Eddie Riggs in Brütal Legend. Between that and this call for The Protomen, we can't help but wonder if there isn't a fan of the Blue Bomber in Mr. Black as well.
One of the more interesting developments to come out of Mega Man in the past several years has been the emergence of bands inspired by the Blue Bomber in various ways, with The Protomen being among the leading examples. Since arriving on the scene, their brand of musical fan-fiction has not only allowed longtime fans to look at the series in a new light, but has also converted new fans as well.
And now, a group by the name of TRIAL Films wish to take the music of The Protomen to the next level by creating a film based on their works called "The Will of One." But the thing is, they need funding... and quite a bit of it. And that's where you come in.
In short, TRIAL is hoping to raise $8,500 to make the film. And with 56 days left on their fund raiser, they have so far managed to procure... $96. So yes, they're just a little bit short of their goal at the moment, but with two months left, there is still hope. As a point of comparison, Eddie Lebron's Mega Man fan film cost $2,000 to make.
We need at least eight thousand dollars to cover the costs of our fantastic team, concept artists, CG artists, prop designers, costume designers, everything you can imagine to make this work. We are really shooting to break our target budget because let's face it, the more money we can acquire the better this film is going to be over all.
With more than enough money on our end we'll be able to do some really spectacular stuff. Not only with CG and special effects, but stunt work, stunt doubles, wire work for insane flips. Practical effects like explosions and pyrotechnics. Everything you'd expect from an action film.
Every single dollar you donate to us is what is going to help make or break this film. If we can't reach our target goal, it's pretty much game over for us. We feel that this story deserves only the best. We are huge Protomen fans, and huge Megaman fans, we want to give this thing everything we've got. So we need your help to do so.
Even if you are unable to donate (and they'll accept anything from $1 up), they ask that you help by spreading the word about their cause. Of course, if you can donate, you can get some pretty cool "perks" depending on how much you contribute, including your name in the credits (under various roles based on amount), props from the film, specially-recorded video and MP3 messages, and more.
You can check out the full list of perks, as well as donate, by going to their IndieGoGo page.
Will they make it? That all depends on you.
Thanks to TRIAL Films, Dashe, and Stealth Woman for the tips!
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.
Following the accusations of Capcom throwing anyone with even the slightest hint of Blue Bomber in their blood out of the San Diego Comic-Con, new charges have been levied against the company. The latest mud slung at Capcom have positioned them as the author of a cease and desist order against popular Mega Man-inspired rock-opera musicians The Protomen. The letter from the group, in which they purportedly give fans the bad news, seems to have first emerged as a rumor from GoNintendo, with fans wasting no time giving the call to arms. Capcom's Seth Killian tried to dispel the rumor, but it seems his denial was drowned out to many, not being heard over their own calls for blood.
Fans are skeptical of any denial from Capcom. Why would they tell the truth, right? At least, that appears to be the popular way of thinking. Not to mention, the URL to the band's website suddenly and mysteriously began to lead to Capcom Unity... what's up with that?
So, how about a denial from the group themselves?
In response to the flurry of questions they received about being held down by "the man," The Protomen issued the following response to the followers of their mailing list, titled "URGENT INFO!"
It's only been a little over a week since leaving Nashville, TN, United States, North America, America, Western Hemisphere, Earth, for this leg of the Hot Summer Nights Tour '11, but we've already found ourselves in some hairy situations. Turbo Lover entered the Skyhammer in a Georgia Tech demolition derby death match (a GTDDDM, if you will)... where she got her right ear ripped off. Kilroy won controlling stock in FanGamer in a no-holds-barred arm-wrestling death match (a NHBAWDM, if you still will)... And every member of the band was beaten in the Conway Twitty "Conway's Latest Greatest Hits; Volume I - contains the new hit single: "Ain't She Somethin' Else" Stare-Off of Death 2011 (Henceforth known as a CTCLGH;VI-CTNHS:"ASSE"S-OoD-11).
Seriously, go look at that album cover and try to make yourself believe you could beat a stare like Conway's.
And now: The answer to the question that every single one of you have been sending to our electronic mailbox machine (don't be acting like you didn't email us about it... I'm pretty sure you drunk emailed us or something. Seriously... the things you said...): <------No that isn't an emoticon.
A:\> Absolutely not. The Capcom/Protomen Cease and Desist Letter Fiasco '11 (CPCDLF11) is a complete hoax. A not-so-thought-out one, for that matter, but we really appreciate the effort. For those of you who bit into that chicken leg, shame on you for thinking we'd go down that easily. We've got a lot more sass than all that. Furthermore, Capcom has been nothing but nice to us since we got this beast rolling (even though we stole Seth Killian's megaphone). Now, I can't speak for the game cancellations, but the general vitriol surrounding Capcom at the moment needs to end. We understand that it's upsetting to see a game you've been waiting for get cancelled at the last minute, but maybe now is the time to focus on letting them know how much we all need that Protomen/Man Game to be made... (OK, I think that's enough self promotion and exploitation of a situation for one email).
As for the untimely destruction of the ProtoSite, We're investigating suspects and have narrowed it down to these possibilities:
1. The Player Vs Performer 2011 tour currently battling it out on the east coast collided with the Hot Summer Nights ProtoTour causing a hurricane of nerdery so powerful that it took down our broadcast HQ off the coast of Florida.
3. Whitney Houston hacked our site because she's livid that Murphy Weller was cast instead of her in the hotly anticipated sequel to Waiting To Exhale. Waiting To Exhale II: Still Waiting.
Now on to more important and real news... The August West Coast Of America Tour!
Since our recent perceived bout with near death, we've decided it best to rename the next leg of our 2011 tour, "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now," in honor of our dear friends in Starship.
AUGUST - Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now 04th - Indianapolis, IN - GenCon - (hanging out) 05th - Indianapolis, IN - GenCon - (hanging out 06th - Indianapolis, IN - GenCon - (we play this day) 07th - Indianapolis, IN - GenCon - (hanging out) 11th - St. Louis, MO - 2720 Cherokee 12th - Kansas City, KS - TBA 13th - Springfield, MO - TBA 15th - Oklahoma City, OK - Conservatory 16th - Houston, TX - Super Happy Fun Land 17th - Austin, TX - Emo's 18th - El Paso, TX - TBA 19th - Arizona - TBA 20th - Las Vegas / CA - TBA 21st - California - TBA 22nd - California - TBA 24th - Portland, OR - Lola's - Act I 25th - Portland, OR - Lola's - Act II 26th - Seattle, WA - El Corazon 27th - Seattle, WA - PAX Prime (Magfest's Jamspace) 29th - Vancouver, BC - Biltmore Cabaret 30th - Spokane, WA - A Club
In other news, our Act I Record release show was amazingly sold out thanks to many of you. That night, we unveiled the 12" and a new fancy shirt that you need. The first run of about a thousand records are nearly gone, so if you want one, you'd better try like hell to get to one of our shows in the next few weeks.
I'd like to tell you more of our deepest darkest secrets, but I'm riding in the bus right now on the way to Chapel Hill, NC and my fingers are bouncing around the keyboarfgsfgd'h'go.
Let 'em say we're crazy.
So, there you have it: another rumor debunked.