Board 8 > Para ranks every classic Mega Man stage theme

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Paratroopa1
03/21/21 7:14:40 AM
#1:


Hello! So, I basically started making this list as a joke between friends. Then I accidentally started to get a little too into it, and then I started taking things a little too far, and then it kind of became a serious list that I set aside for a while. Now I'm coming back and actually doing it.

See, here's the thing. I am a crazy huge fan of the Mega Man series. Well, most of it. The classic series, anyway. And I'm a big fan of Mega Man's music! Well, most of it, anyway. It kind of sparked my love for video game music, and music as a whole, at a young age, and I've been sort of highkey obsessed with the franchise ever since and with trying to emulate its style in my own music. I've listened to a pretty high percentage of these songs on loop for no particular reason other than just because they got stuck in my head and I like to feed the earworms (and the brainworms). I can instantly recall nearly every track on this list at the snap of a finger, and even a split second of most of these tracks is identifiable to me. So, ever since someone (it was Anagram, thanks Anagram) asked me to rank the stage themes from this series, it was only natural that I would take it to its dumbest logical conclusion and rank every single one.

I sat on this list for a while and honestly probably spent way too much time thinking it through and sorting it. You'd be surprised at how many passes I made through this list - probably about three big ones, with a bunch of random little shuffling here and there, and while there's still certainly a great deal of arbitrariness baked into this list, I did actually think it through pretty carefully. This is an unreasonably well-curated list, in other words, so keep that in mind. Wasn't slapped together in a day.

This list is not some kind of objective ranking of quality by any means. How much I believe such a thing exists in music is up for debate, anyway. It's just a ranking of how much each song tickles my own personal eardrums in a way that I like for whatever stupid reason. And trust me, some of the reasons are stupid. It's totally, 100% subjective, unfiltered opinions coming out of my stupid brain. If I dislike something you like, don't worry too much about it - I'll get pretty harsh because that's fun for me, but if you like something I don't, that's awesome! By all means, find treasure in my trash, and call me out on it. I love this series - the nicest thing you could possibly do for me is to convince me to like something that I didn't like by helping me see it another way. On the other hand, if you don't like something that I do like, fuck you, you're wrong.

Is this list even vaguely interesting in any way? I don't know. But here it is.
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Paratroopa1
03/21/21 7:17:23 AM
#2:


First, it's important that I lay down the ground rules for what exactly I actually included in this list.

What's included in this list:

Every unique stage theme, no matter how minor, from...

Mega Man 1-11
Mega Man & Bass
Mega Man I-V (GB)
Mega Man: The Wily Wars
Mega Man Powered Up
Mega Man Soccer

Yeah, I included Mega Man Soccer. I figured, at this point, I'm gonna get pretty much every classic Mega Man game in here, so I might as well include it. It's not a platformer, but it does have easily-defined stage themes, and I have played the game, so it's familiar to me. (I immediately regretted including Mega Man Soccer.) I also included Powered Up and Wily Wars, but only original tracks from those games - more on that in a second.

What's NOT included in this list:

- Boss themes, stage select themes, password themes, etc. Just comparing stage themes today. That's a big enough list as it is. Stages are kinda the meat of the soundtrack here, and that was what I set out of quantify. I might do separate rankings for boss themes and other stuff... maybe. I don't know yet.

- Any themes that are repeats or derivitive of another theme in the series. That means...

--- The four robot master themes from Dr. Wily's Revenge. These are actually pretty different from the NES originals, so I could have reasonably ranked them, but I would have had a hard time trying to place them alongside the originals. I decided to leave them out and only rank unique themes.

--- Pretty much everything from Mega Man III and Mega Man IV for the Game Boy (note - as per tradition, I'll use roman numerals to denote the Game Boy games). Almost everything here sounds nearly identical to their NES counterparts.

--- Everything from Wily Wars except the Wily Tower themes. These are just sad attempts by the Genesis to recreate the NES's magic.

--- Most of the tracks from Powered Up except for the few originals. This was another tough call, since Powered Up is quite stylistically unique and its arrangements could have been ranked, and leaving the three original stage themes from this game on an island by themselves is a little weird, but I just didn't know what to do with them. I just decided to leave them out.

--- Cut Man and Wood Man's themes from MM8. Same deal as usual.

--- Any arrangements or remixes, so no Rockman Complete Works, or Mega Man 11 instrumentals, or anything like that. Just the originals here.

- Ballade's theme from MMIV. It technically DOES play during a stage portion of the game, but it's obviously a boss theme, and I'm not ranking that shit okay. That goes in a boss theme ranking.

- Similarly, there's a theme that plays in Wily's Castle in Mega Man II where you fight Quint, and I think you have control of Mega Man just before you fight him, but I can't really regard it as a stage theme. It's a boss theme.

- Some obscure tracks from Powered Up that aren't used in normal gameplay.

- An unused theme from MMV. I'm not sure if it's a stage theme or not.

- Anything from the arcade games Mega Man: The Power Battle or Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters. No original music here, everything is reused.

- Anything from Rockman & Forte: Challenger From The Future for the Wonderswan. There is a very high chance you had absolutely no idea that this game existed, despite the fact that it is an official product, an entirely original game, and even has completely unique, canonical robot masters in it! Sadly, all of its stage music is entirely recycled from Rockman & Forte, not a single original stage theme to be found here. By the way, this game is really bad, so that's probably why you haven't heard of it.

- Anything from Mega Man for the Game Gear. I'm not even 100% sure that this game is canon or even officially licensed, it might be some kind of weird bootleg. It's garbage, and it has no original music, only reused stuff from various NES games.

- Anything from either of the Mega Man DOS games. I'm sad to report that these games have no music AT ALL. I absolutely would have included them if I could have, but there is no way for me to include these, even ironically.

- Anything from Street Fighter x Mega Man. Just gonna say 'nah' to that one. It's a fangame. Nothing from any other fangames either of course, just canon stuff here, although some of them do have lovely music.

- Anything from any of these other weird obscure Japanese-only games, like Mega Man Battle & Chase, Rockman Strategy, etc. I have no idea if any of the music from these games would meaningfully qualify for this list and I don't care at this point. If it's more obscure than Wily Wars, I didn't care to track it down, and it's not here.

- Anything from Mega Man X, Zero, Battle Network, etc. I'm just doing the classic series. The rest of these would really be their own ranking projects, and they're beyond the scope of something that I would really care to rank. You MIGHT be able to wrench a Mega Man X ranking out of me, but it's a stretch.

- Anything from Mighty No 9, just in case someone mentions it. No Mighty Gunvolt or anything like that either. I think you get the point.

I THINK that covers all of my bases - if there's other excluded stuff I didn't mention you can probably figure out why on your own. If there does happen to be a track I missed that I should have included, let me know, and I'll either include it as an afterthought or I'll tell you to fuck off, depending.

Oh, one note I forgot to add: For Rockman & Forte for the SFC and Mega Man & Bass for the GBA, I don't really consider either version of the soundtrack to be the definitive one, so I just used whichever version of the track I liked more. Is that arbitrary? Yep!
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Paratroopa1
03/21/21 7:19:26 AM
#3:


After all that, that leaves this enormous list of tracks. Like half of them are named "Dr. Wily" so I'll be including Youtube links for every song because yeah, no reasonable person could keep track of this shit.

Mega Man 1
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Bomb Man
Cut Man
Elec Man
Fire Man
Guts Man
Ice Man
Dr. Wily 1
Dr. Wily 2

Mega Man 2
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Air Man
Bubble Man
Crash Man
Flash Man
Heat Man
Metal Man
Quick Man
Wood Man
Dr. Wily 1
Dr. Wily 2

Mega Man 3
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Gemini Man
Hard Man
Magnet Man
Needle Man
Shadow Man
Snake Man
Spark Man
Top Man
Dr. Wily 1
Dr. Wily 2
Dr. Wily 3

Mega Man 4
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Bright Man
Dive Man
Drill Man
Dust Man
Pharaoh Man
Ring Man
Skull Man
Toad Man
Dr. Cossack 1
Dr. Cossack 2
Dr. Wily 1
Dr. Wily 2

Mega Man 5
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Charge Man
Crystal Man
Gravity Man
Gyro Man
Napalm Man
Star Man
Stone Man
Wave Man
Dark Man
Dr. Wily

Mega Man 6
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Blizzard Man
Centaur Man
Flame Man
Knight Man
Plant Man
Tomahawk Man
Wind Man
Yamato Man
Mr. X
Dr. Wily

Mega Man 7
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Intro Stage
Burst Man
Cloud Man
Freeze Man
Junk Man
Robot Museum
Shade Man
Shade Man (Alt)
Slash Man
Spring Man
Turbo Man
Dr. Wily 1
Dr. Wily 2
Dr. Wily 3
Dr. Wily 4

Mega Man 8
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Intro Stage 1
Intro Stage 2
Clown Man
Frost Man
Grenade Man
Tengu Man (PS1)
Tengu Man (Saturn)
Aqua Man
Astro Man
Search Man
Sword Man
Dr. Wily 1
Dr. Wily 2
Dr. Wily 3
Dr. Wily 4

Mega Man 9
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Concrete Man
Galaxy Man
Hornet Man
Jewel Man
Magma Man
Plug Man
Splash Woman
Tornado Man
Dr. Wily 1
Dr. Wily 2
Dr. Wily 3
Dr. Wily 4
Fake Man
Endless Stage

Mega Man 10
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Blade Man
Chill Man
Commando Man
Nitro Man
Pump Man
Sheep Man
Strike Man
Solar Man
Dr. Wily 1 Intro
Dr. Wily 1
Dr. Wily 2
Dr. Wily 3
Dr. Wily 4
Dr. Wily 5
Enker
Punk
Ballade
Endless Stage
Challenge

Mega Man 11
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Acid Man
Blast Man
Block Man
Fuse Man
Bounce Man
Torch Man
Impact Man
Tundra Man
Dr. Wily
Dr. Light's Trial

Mega Man & Bass
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Intro Stage
Cold Man
Ground Man
Astro Man
Dynamo Man
Burner Man
Pirate Man
Magic Man
Tengu Man
Capsule Room
King
Dr. Wily

Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge
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Dr. Wily 1
Dr. Wily 2

Mega Man II (GB)
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Air Man
Clash Man
Metal Man
Wood Man
Hard Man
Magnet Man
Needle Man
Top Man
Dr. Wily

Mega Man III (GB)
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Dr. Wily 1
Dr. Wily 2

Mega Man IV (GB)
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Dr. Wily

Mega Man V (GB)
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Mercury
Venus
Mars
Jupiter
Saturn
Uranus
Neptune
Pluto
Dr. Wily 1
Dr. Wily 2

Mega Man: The Wily Wars
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Buster Rod G
Hyper Storm H
Mega Water S
Dr. Wily 1
Dr. Wily 2
Dr. Wily 3
Dr. Wily 4

Mega Man: Powered Up
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Intro Stage
Oil Man
Time Man

Mega Man Soccer
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Mega Man
Cut Man
Dust Man
Elec Man
Fire Man
Needle Man
Pharaoh Man
Skull Man
Wood Man
Enker
Proto Man
Dr. Wily
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Paratroopa1
03/21/21 7:27:48 AM
#4:


192. Robot Museum (Mega Man 7)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPOXSlzlbKo

Oh hey, I remember all of these songs in much better games and much better soundtracks! The hot butchering of Heat Man's theme alone here is grounds for last place on this list. This is one of a surprising number of stage themes that just play in a single hallway and that's probably for the better because it's thoroughly aggrivating.

191. Capsule Room (Mega Man & Bass)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PWJykjMie0

I ONLY included this one for the sake of completionism. This way, nobody can go "hey Para, there's a stage theme you forgot! Your list is incomplete!" No, fuck you, here it is. Here it is, fucker, I hope you're happy that I remembered it. It sucks.

190. Challenge (Mega Man 10)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAQEFfZ-WH4

Again, I only included this for the sake of completionism - I nearly cut it because it's a really short loop and it only plays in empty rooms. It's not very good! Carries the sad distinction of being the only NES-style track you'll see on this list for another 15 placements or so.

189. Dr. Wily 4 (Mega Man 8)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViTB2toib6E

This is just an extended version of the pre-boss theme for the capsule room, and there isn't really a whole lot to say about it. It's certainly weird. Kind of interesting reuse of a track, I guess, but I'm being nice at this point. Moving on.

188. Block Man (Mega Man 11)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56xw3mryadY

The first meaningful track on the list and uh... is it going to be controversial? I honestly have no idea, since the reaction to MM11's soundtrack seems to be lukewarm at best. When I heard this one in the Mega Man 11 demo, it was a big 'uh oh' for me that things weren't quite right - this one's got a melodic hook at the start that's grating, repetitive, and not very interesting, and I couldn't really tell you how the rest of the track goes. The B section sounds like a reject from Mega Man ZX and the C section sounds exactly the same as the denouement of every other MM11 track. MM11 songs have a real problem with creating hooks that get stuck in your brain, and given that this is the defining feature of Mega Man soundtracks, it's a pretty big problem.

187. Torch Man (Mega Man 11)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdrWb2PzDD8

A stage concept that's already been done in Mega Man & Bass, and the musical take on it here isn't as good. After that playful little 'imp setting things on fire in the woods' opening that isn't so bad, the rest of the track is about as forgettable as can be - there's no sense of the art of creating memorable melodic hooks here at all. The idea of the track, as well, is totally lost and becomes totally indistinguishable from the rest of the soundtrack. I really sort of hate this.

186. Blast Man (Mega Man 11)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHGubB_nZBQ

No, the entire bottom of the list isn't Mega Man 11, but I'm slashing quite a few of them early. Much like Torch Man, I can kind of remember the opening bit, but then ask me what follows after that, and I couldn't tell you - and listening to it again honestly rings no bells, despite the fact that I played through this game twice and I've listened through the soundtrack a few times. Keep in mind, I really pride myself on a keen musical memory, and even the briefest flashes of other pieces in this series are instantly recallable to me - but here? Nothing. It's damning, almost moreso than creating something outright bad.

185. Impact Man (Mega Man 11)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JB95G_wrRzk

I feel bad for the composer, Marika Suzuki, that I'm starting this list off by trashing Mega Man 11. Following up a mostly-storied series with an iconic soundtrack was never going to be easy to do, especially when you don't have a lot of game soundtrack work under your belt (although to be fair, almost none of the composers on this list did, either), and I don't blame her for creating a soundtrack that wasn't to my tastes. Impact Man starts off with something that has a little more bite to it, but then it all kind of devolves into this happy-hardcore sameyness as usual. Have I mentioned that MM11 has an instrumentation problem? It's ironic, given that the NES couldn't really do a whole lot of instrumentation to begin with, but every track in MM11 seems to lead with this same airy synth and it makes every track sound the same. I get pretty sick of it, quickly.

184. Clown Man (Mega Man 8)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afqO9Cm-dM8

No, fuck you Dr. Wily, why did you make a Clown Man. I could shrug my shoulders and say, well, this theme does a good enough job portraying what it's supposed to, which it does. But this is my list and this happy-go-lucky circus theme makes my blood pressure rise. It isn't poorly constructed by any means, but I don't have to like it.

183. Dr. Wily 2 (Mega Man 8)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XKjAwEs2RQ

"Man, I'm trying to put this Dr. Wily stage theme together for Mega Man 8 and it's just not coming along, it's disjointed and not very exciting..." WHOOOOOSH "Whoa, holy shit, it's Hoshimaru, Master of the Pan Flute! Dude, oh my god, can you play a fucking sick solo over this track I'm working on? Hahahaha oh holy shit FUCK yes. No, yeah man, that's perfect. Okay, my track still sounds disjointed and unexciting but now it has a DOPE flute solo. Goodbye, Hoshimaru! Thank you for everything!"

182. Dr. Wily 1 (Mega Man: The Wily Wars)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fl3JWdI9s8

Oh goodness, that opening is loud, isn't it? I can practically feel the G-forces from the sudden tonal shift of the excessively bright opening to the typical minor key of the main body of the theme. As much as I dislike the first ten seconds of this track, it's almost anxiety-inducing that the song never returns there - it feels like it's just stuck in a particular gear when the track comes around to its looping point. The opening promises a lot of movement, then never delivers.

181. Intro Stage 2 (Mega Man 8)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUH3mLjGPuY

This one plays in the brief underground section of the opening stage of MM8, only in the PS1 version I think, and I don't really know why! As far as I know, it's the only stage in the series that switches themes. It's nothing special, but it's kind of silly and makes me smile. It's nearly a direct ripoff of the underground theme from Super Mario Bros, and that's hilarious to me for some reason.
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Paratroopa1
03/21/21 8:05:16 AM
#5:


180. Dr. Wily 3 (Mega Man 8)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnycZAyBTy8

"FRANK! HEY, FRANK! CAN YOU TURN DOWN THE FUCKING AIR CONDITIONER, I'M TRYING TO RECORD A WILY STAGE THEME HERE! GODDAMNIT FRANK! ALRIGHT, FUCK IT, I'LL JUST USE IT. IT'S AMBIENCE, OKAY. MEGA MAN IS SNEAKING AROUND DR. WILY'S FORTRESS AND DR. WILY HAS THE AIR CONDITIONING TURNED UP REALLY LOUD. NO, IT'S FINE. THIS IS MY CREATIVE VISION NOW."

179. Needle Man (Mega Man Soccer)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klENMlMbmF8

I do not even know how to begin describing Mega Man Soccer's soundtrack, but I will over the course of this list attempt to use the english language to do so anyway. It's not very good - the sound quality is obviously a big step down from even Mega Man 7 - and it's weird as all fuck. And yet, it will occupy spots on this list far higher than it has any right to. This is, somehow, probably the least weird track of the bunch, which means it must not have accomplished what it was setting out to do.

178. Aqua Man (Mega Man 8)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oujCjVisaNY

Jesus christ it's like the musical version of Ambien. It's by no means unpleasant, and I'm game for the idea of a chill, lo-fi Mega Man beats to relax to kind of track, but there's so little meat on this bone - it sort of meanders and never really hits on a fully formed idea. I feel like I could actually die of understimulation listening to this, and I'm someone who finds silence a welcome friend.

177. Buster Rod G (Mega Man: The Wily Wars)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLiYaJfI3Ko

Can we talk about the Genesis's sound chip for a second? Now, I'm not someone who ever owned a Genesis, so maybe this sort of thing just doesn't tickle my nostalgia brain in the same way it does for others, but I think only a few games really mastered the use of the Genesis's FM synthesis-based chip. Ristar did. Sonic got by. There's a few other examples here and there. Wily Wars is not one of them, and the instrumentation really does the game no favors anywhere in its soundtrack - it's all very loud and grating and it kind of drowns itself out half the time somehow. I'm using Buster Rod G to raise this complaint since I don't have a lot to say about it otherwise - I can kind of see what the composer was trying for here, but it's bland.

176. Proto Man (Mega Man Soccer)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daYN7AiIcME

For a track named for Blues, this one is vaguely bluesy for all of about two seconds before becoming kind of boring for a while and then ending in some sort of triumphant march. Have I mentioned that Mega Man Soccer is an intensely weird soundtrack? Yeah it's uh... it's all like this. Harsh chiffer leads and no real bass to speak of is going to be a recurring theme.

175. Cut Man (Mega Man Soccer)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0rp_tmKu0U

Ranking all of the Mega Man Soccer themes was a mistake.

174. Sword Man (Mega Man 8)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gG_3QzauhiM

File this one under "I understand WHY the theme sounds like this, but that doesn't mean the end result is great". Yeah, it's a creepy theme for a spooky temple full of traps, but I dunno why you'd create a robot master as cool as Sword Man and give him a theme this dinky. Alright for what it is, I suppose, but not a whole lot here to really talk about, and it doesn't particularly drive the action in this stage. The ascending notes at :23 are a little silly, and the bass at :30-:43 is REALLY ugly.

173. Mega Man (Mega Man Soccer)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDPFzxroR94

This is the only track in the entire series that belongs to a stage that the Blue Bomber can call his own! It's somewhat memorable, but not especially great. Oh well!

172. Endless Stage (Mega Man 10)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoyTqyEtLZg

Another theme that is largely here for completionist value - I don't recall ever actually playing the endless stage in Mega Man 10. This theme's not terrible but it's a little more repetitive than I'd like out of something of this nature. That 'whistle' in the opening isn't doing a lot for me and this song sure uses it a lot. Couldn't hum any part of this for you but NES-style stuff tends to get a premium at the bottom of this list.

171. Tengu Man (Saturn) (Mega Man 8)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p1J2rXfzwU

Yeah, for some reason, Mega Man 8 has two different versions of this theme, one for the Saturn version of the game, and one for the PS1 version of the game. Did you even know there was a Saturn version of Mega Man 8? I did! This is the worse take on the theme. There's a spirited enough attempt here to create something exciting and iconic, but it's completely undone by Mega Man 8's insistence on using horrible horn and string samples. Could've been better but the end result is sloppy, kinda like... uh, most aspects of Mega Man 8.
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Paratroopa1
03/21/21 8:07:36 AM
#6:


These writeups are taking longer than I thought they would! I'll finish these off over the course of the rest of the week, I don't want to have this one take too long. It was supposed to be a short project!
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TomNook
03/21/21 8:38:28 AM
#7:


Tag! Not reading these yet, but soon.

I'm huge into Mega Man and the music as well. But you, wow, you are impressively obsessed! In a good way!

Let's go Cossack 2! Hope it gets the Top 5 love that it deserves!

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Bells, bells, bells!
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RaidenGarai
03/21/21 9:15:07 AM
#8:


Tagging!

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Epic Seven IGN ZeroThe13th
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Metal_DK
03/21/21 9:42:02 AM
#9:


tag

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Casual Revolution 2007 - 2016
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masterplum
03/21/21 9:56:01 AM
#10:


Man, bad mega man music is horrid.

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WazzupGenius00
03/21/21 10:34:18 AM
#11:


Hey, youre missing the Mid-game Duo stage theme from Mega Man 8. (spoilered because I was wrong)

Oops Im wrong, its just the Intro stage music again and just his boss fight has a unique theme.

moving on, the only other time a stage theme switches that I know of is that first Wily Stage in 10.

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Zigzagoon
03/21/21 11:41:22 AM
#12:


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SSBM_Guy
03/21/21 11:49:47 AM
#13:


Major tag. I love MM Classic music and I love Para write ups.

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I feel completely refreshed. Like I just put on fresh underwear on New Year's Day.
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Toxtricity
03/21/21 3:23:51 PM
#14:


man you're more opposite of me than i remembered.........though also iirc you love mm5 music and that's by far my favorite (a top 2 nes ost for me). rooting for most of the themes from that for sure! and i remember you having positive things to say about some of my other fav mm tracks from other games as well

i find it difficult to get into most nes megaman music (with mm5 as this random freak exception) so it's unsurprising there's a fundamental clash haha, especially since i lean toward a lot of mm8/mm&b (and even mm11) trends---i prefer thicker harmonies, weird progressions, and fuller production far over melodic catchiness. (though i know you have your own interest in some of those things too at times)

anyway i do think what you have to say is interesting regardless. curious what our mutual favorites will wind up being! and i still have fondness for at least a couple songs from every game i think, even just nostalgia for when i first got into megaman. i've been in a megaman mood lately so this topic is well timed for my interests

the biggest disagreement so far is probably block man, which is my fav from mm11, but also it's totally unsurprising that someone who loves "classic megaman music" would not be into something that sounds some of the least similar to classic megaman music of anything in the series tbh. i'm just really into its cool weird INSIDE A COMPUTER parallel synth chord groove that backs it right from the start, less into the 'actual melody' when that shows up

i also like wily2(mm8) and aqua man but i'm not as upset with those low as i'd be with some other mm8 favorites (also wtf i don't even remember this random super fake triplet solo in wily 2 somehow, i think i just filter that out every time that happens. it does not fit LOL)
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time
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LeonhartFour
03/21/21 3:41:25 PM
#15:


I don't know how to rank music, but Mega Man music is rad, so I'll follow along.

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rwlh
03/21/21 3:49:49 PM
#16:


I haven't read any of the writeups yet, but I love the Mega Man Soccer soundtrack! Curious to see where that places.
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NBIceman
03/21/21 4:04:36 PM
#17:


Tracking the hell out of this.

We're the Robots for #1. Hope Spark Man and Tundra Man go far too.


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Spurs - Yankees - Eagles - Golden Knights
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Earthshaker
03/21/21 4:49:04 PM
#18:


As someone who grew up with the series, hell yes. Interested in seeing some hot takes (and hoping it's not too overly mean to 7.)

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[Brackets.] - Current and ongoing games: FFXIV, Vermintide 2, League of Legends, Warframe. Streaming soon on Twitch
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Earthshaker
03/21/21 4:52:29 PM
#19:


Of note: are you counting the instrumental/DLC tracks for 11? Some of them are hot garbage, too, but I am absolutely in love with Tundra Man instrumental.

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wallmasterz
03/21/21 7:09:41 PM
#20:


I legitimately like Wily 2 from MM8

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-hotdogturtle--
03/21/21 7:17:30 PM
#21:


Tag

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With what? ROT-13? -CJayC
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Dels
03/21/21 9:00:16 PM
#22:


Earthshaker posted...
Of note: are you counting the instrumental/DLC tracks for 11? Some of them are hot garbage, too, but I am absolutely in love with Tundra Man instrumental.

Editing to avoid a triple post: your take on Aqua Man/Tengu Man Saturn is... something. (That said, they also sound different to how I remember them, somehow.) Also kind of surprised to not see MMIIGB down at the bottom, or are you listening to the pitch corrected versions for sanity?

Aqua Man actually has different versions for PSX and Saturn as well - but the changes aren't as big as with Tengu Man

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Anagaram
03/21/21 9:32:24 PM
#23:


Tag

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Paratroopa1
03/22/21 8:25:41 AM
#24:


It's been a really long day, but I can knock ten more of these out. Spoilers; I'm about to nearly eliminate a single game in its entirety, and it's not 8.

170. Turbo Man (Mega Man 7)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRodHnfPgAg

I'm gonna run out of things to say about MM7's soundtrack pretty quick. I actually LIKE MM7, for a few reasons, but the loss of the NES stylings were a bit of a tragedy for me and that's well on display here. This track has quite a few different instruments in it that are all very characteristic of 7's soundtrack as a whole and none of 'em are good. The call-and-response melody is corny. This one gets tiring fast especially with how often you'll be falling down that one particular pit and having to redo part of the stage.

169. Concrete Man (Mega Man 9)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbMmnNyCcBM

Speaking of corny melodies! Concrete Man's theme is really hoping that the simple repetition of its one motif will eventually make the whole thing come together. This track sort of reminds me when a Mega Man fangame just kinda ends up taking a demo track that someone had lying around - Concrete Man's an awfully weak boss both in his theming and in his stage theming and the music lacks any sort of unifying character as well, it's about as generic as it gets. The run of ostinatos in the C section are basically the last refuge of a composer who has already run out of ideas 45 seconds in.

168. Strike Man (Mega Man 10)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJHsrxAv-7Q

Let me start this by saying that Mega Man 10's soundtrack has basically the coolest gimmick ever - every robot master theme was composed by the principle composer of a past Mega Man game (except for the one you'd really want to return, MM2's Takeshi Tateishi, who was... well, I'll talk about him later at some point). And leading up to the game's release, they even let you try to guess who composed what theme. Cool! I ended up getting 6 out of 8 right, and this is one of the ones I got right - the happy-go-lucky attitude of this track really seemed like the domain of Mega Man 7's Makoto Tomozawa. This one's kinda like Clown Man where I understand the idea behind the character of this track, but it wears its welcome on me quickly. The whole 'cheerleading chant' thing is cute but loses its novelty fast and the rest of the track isn't too inspired and feels kinda empty.

167. Spring Man (Mega Man 7)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TrP-kZHmjw

One thing you're probably gonna notice about my list is that Mega Man 10's rankings are all over the place - rather than being next to each other they mostly tend to get grouped with whichever composer wrote them. That's not me forcing some kind of purity here, it just sort of shook out that way. I like the uptempo beat of Spring Man, but, and maybe this is just because I imagine the sound of a million 'boings' being played over this, it's another track that's a little too happy for my vibe and wears me out quick.

166. Cloud Man (Mega Man 7)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhGEQITcEPk

I keep getting this one mixed up with Spring Man, like, all the damn time. Similar tempo, similar tone, similar feeling of being worn down by the whole thing. Hey, here's a weird fact! At a whopping 1 minute and 43 seconds, this is actually the longest stage theme I can think of! Yeah, that didn't seem right to me either but that little downbeat tag at the end (which I like) doesn't happen until 1:36. If someone notices a longer track let me know because now I'm kinda interested in figuring this one out.

165. Magic Man (Mega Man & Bass)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ID1Qk0c_kyU

It's Clown Man part 2! Captures the theming of the area it plays in perfectly well, but it's just not a theme that I fancy, and since this is my list that might as well be an unforgivable sin.

164. Dr. Wily 4 (Mega Man 7)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_DGS2DlJxQ

Hey! So, if you were hoping I wasn't gonna eliminate like half of Mega Man 7 today, sorry to disappoint but I'm basically doing exactly that. This one... well, it's a capsule room theme, and I guess it's trying very hard to capture the dire feeling of being about to face the hardest final boss in the entire series but it kinda misses the mark for me.

163. Freeze Man (Mega Man 7)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNRbJ-wLMjY

I like this one narrowly more than the previous few 7 tracks because I do appreciate that it's got a lot of different ideas - I think it's a well constructed track that uses its hooks well. I just don't want to listen to it for very long. I'm grumpy and all this festive cheer is getting in the way of me wanting to shoot stuff and listen to funky riffs in moody minor keys.

162. Junk Man (Mega Man 7)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lK_bD7RyIU

Yeah I really wasn't kidding about that Mega Man 7 exodus. This is probably the hardest part of the list to get through because I just don't have a lot to say about this theme, it's just sort of... generic. None of this will have me humming later and none of it really speaks to the character of the level in any particular way. It's not terrible, it's just sort of there.

161. Dr. Wily 3 (Mega Man 7)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbkkuF61x6s

I swear to god this is the exact same theme as Junk Man's. Am I crazy? I prefer this one a little bit but they remind me of each other a lot. The tone of this one's awfully weird for a Wily theme - it kinda sounds less like I'm fighting my way through his fortress and more like I'm trapped in Dr. Wily's fabulous game show. The melody of this track is so odd - :21 just hits me in a super weird way that I can't really describe. Yeah yeah I know, great writeup, "it's weird and I can't describe it." Maybe the next 10 will go better because at least some of them are from different games.

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Paratroopa1
03/22/21 8:29:45 AM
#25:


Earthshaker posted...
As someone who grew up with the series, hell yes. Interested in seeing some hot takes (and hoping it's not too overly mean to 7.)

Except for Turbo Man, he deserves it. And the Museum, but that's the bottom barrel, so good on you for that.
Now I feel bad :(

Dels posted...
Aqua Man actually has different versions for PSX and Saturn as well - but the changes aren't as big as with Tengu Man

Huh, I actually didn't know this, never noticed. Learn something new every day! Fortunately, like you said, the changes are really minor, so it doesn't matter for the purposes of this list (much the same way I didn't rank R&F/MM&B separately). The two Tengu Man themes are just completely unrelated themes, so they were separated.
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Earthshaker
03/22/21 10:04:25 AM
#26:


Well, at least you put Turbo Man at the bottom of the main stages where he belongs, and Wily Junk 3.

I'll go ahead and put a big ol' disapproval note on the Freeze Man judgment, though.

(I didn't actually know the Strike Man trivia bit. If I had to guess those: )
Nitro - 9, Blade - 8, Strike - 7 but we knew this already, Solar - 6, Sheep - 5, Commando - 4, Chill - 3, Pump - 1?


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WazzupGenius00
03/22/21 10:28:12 AM
#27:


Takeshi Tateishi does get credited for the stage clear theme in 10, but its not clear whether he did the new arrangement or if hes just credited because he wrote the original tune for 2.

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WiggumFan267
03/22/21 10:33:46 AM
#28:


Tag

Also those mm10 robot masters are 2 of my fav tracks from mega man 10 oh well lol

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NBIceman
03/22/21 10:42:13 AM
#29:


I actually quite like Concrete Man, although I agree it's pretty generic.

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Eddv
03/22/21 12:54:00 PM
#30:


SEETHING MM7 hate

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Dels
03/22/21 1:52:17 PM
#31:


i am surprised that bounce man has avoided the total slaughter of a) mega man 11 tracks and b) happy-go-lucky tracks

seems like the perfect intersection for an early demise
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Lopen
03/22/21 2:29:24 PM
#32:


Hell yeah Mega Man Soccer let's go Elec Field and Wily Field.

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Leonhart4
03/22/21 2:36:44 PM
#33:


I'm surprised at how much I remember the Mega Man Soccer themes

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Brayze_II
03/22/21 2:55:16 PM
#34:


What the fuck is up with Mega man's soccer? Cut Man's theme is like the scraps from 3 different songs. It's weird because the individual pieces are not good but also not complete horrors, but when they're all frankensteined together the whole is less than the sum of its parts.

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rwlh
03/22/21 5:09:08 PM
#35:


Endless Struggle (Endless Stage) from Mega Man 10 is probably my favorite Mega Man Classic theme, which I'm pretty sure is an opinion shared by no other human being on Earth.
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Anagaram
03/22/21 5:53:12 PM
#36:


Paratroopa1 posted...
So, ever since someone (it was Anagram, thanks Anagram
I missed this part, glad to be of service.

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Paratroopa1
03/22/21 7:05:55 PM
#37:


WazzupGenius00 posted...
Takeshi Tateishi does get credited for the stage clear theme in 10, but its not clear whether he did the new arrangement or if hes just credited because he wrote the original tune for 2.
I am 100% certain it's because he's credited for having written the original tune in 2, because at the time, Takeshi Tateishi was not writing music. At all.
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Paratroopa1
03/22/21 7:07:04 PM
#38:


Brayze_II posted...
What the fuck is up with Mega man's soccer? Cut Man's theme is like the scraps from 3 different songs. It's weird because the individual pieces are not good but also not complete horrors, but when they're all frankensteined together the whole is less than the sum of its parts.
Yeah it's really fucking weird huh

Every Soccer song is like this - they're all bad, but some of them I like because they're so mindnumbingly strange and I sort of sometimes like bad novelties despite this having no correlation with quality music
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Whiskey_Nick
03/22/21 7:07:10 PM
#39:


2 > 3 > 9 > 11 > 10 > 4 > 5 > 6 > 1 > 8 > 7

That said, 11 has one of the weakest OSTs

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WarThaNemesis2
03/22/21 7:12:49 PM
#40:


I will not accept this slander of Mega Man Soccer music.

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Paratroopa1
03/23/21 12:40:20 AM
#41:


Gonna start pacing these 5 at a time instead of 10 at a time, I think.

160. Dr. Wily 4 (Mega Man 9)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9BxZtdzrmk

Well, it's certainly... um, esoteric. There's some pretty interesting sound design here but I think it's designed to be listened to for all of about fifteen seconds in between capsules here, which really makes me wonder why the best rips I could find of MM9 are all 30-minute extended cuts, because how the fuck could you listen to this for 30 minutes? It's a lot.

159. Enker (Mega Man Soccer)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI268_MeENk

It's alright. It's not really quite weird enough to earn "boy, Mega Man Soccer sure is weird!" points, but it's not entirely normal either. Like every Soccer theme, it could really benefit from a bassline that actually exists, or just better utilization of the SNES's soundchip in general - I always felt like Capcom had some trouble with this and it's really apparent in something low budget like this.

158. Hyper Storm H (Mega Man: The Wily Wars)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cp1AzV1Yodw

I thought that most of these tracks sounded more like they belonged in a Sonic game or something (and not just because of the Genesis chip) so I looked up the composer, and I shit you not, it's Kinuyo Yamashita of Castlevania 1 fame. She's James fucking Banana! I know, right? Not her best work. (Her best work is Castlevania 1.)

157. Dr. Wily (Mega Man & Bass)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac-kEblYNyQ

Sometimes it's the little things - I mean the really, really little things. The SFC version of this theme has nothing going for it, but the GBA version has that little wicky-wicky synth in the background that just, ooh! I just like it. It tickles the ear and just gives a much needed rough edge to this otherwise unremarkable track. It's dumb, but I like it.

156. Intro Stage (Mega Man: Powered Up)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNg5oBw5mnk

Sounds vaguely more like some kind of J-pop idol theme than anything else, but I guess that's kind of the vibe this soundtrack is going for, so fair enough. Given that this is one of the later classic offerings, the production values here are really quite good, but this feels out of place with MM1's iconic melodies - I can't really imagine in reverse what the NES version of this would have sounded like. It's entirely fine, but I won't remember it after I'm done with this writeup. (I am already noticing that my writeups are getting a lot less harsh now that I'm out of MM7 territory.)
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Zigzagoon
03/23/21 1:21:13 AM
#42:


Concrete is criminally low. Would have been top 20-10 for me easily.

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RaidenGarai
03/23/21 6:53:28 AM
#43:


Mega Phil X had a pretty similar take on Concrete Man. I dont know enough about composing music, but that part at the end feels a little out of place to me. That being said, I still like the track overall!

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Paratroopa1
03/23/21 6:58:57 AM
#44:


Honestly Concrete Man's theme isn't even that bad, but I sorta focused on criticisms for the bottom half of his list since the "truly unpleasant to listen to" doesn't go beyond the bottom two, so stuff that I find to be sort of generic or lazy ends up being the most damning.
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Paratroopa1
03/23/21 7:37:09 AM
#45:


Got five more in me tonight.

155. Dr. Wily 2 (Mega Man 1)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CNIrDQC9q0

Alas, my first elimination from Mega Man 1-6 is here. I mean, there's nothing wrong with this track, but it's another one of those late Wily stage themes that largely exists just to ramp up the tension of the coming battle more than to show off its musical chops. Strangely un-iconic for a music track that appears in the very first game though that pedigree alone is enough to earn a good 40 places on my list.

154. Dr. Wily 3 (Mega Man: The Wily Wars)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iRXkYRAC6U

Here's some more fun Kinuyo Yamashita trivia for you! Did you know she also wrote Mega Man X3? Yeah, this is weird news for me too - Castlevania 1, Wily Wars, and X3 are all the same composer, despite the fact that I honestly can't name any commonalities among any of these three. But yeah, credit Vampire Killer, Gravity Beetle, and... whatever this track is, to the same person. Most of the Dr. Wily tracks in this game feel awfully out of place and this one's no exception. For some reason, the dumb first couple of lines got really stuck in my head years ago and I actually couldn't remember what they were from until I started doing this again. I guess this track did something right if I remembered it for that long - the rest of the track is pretty meandering though. The penultimate stage is not the one where you want to run short on ideas and lose momentum! Come on, you wrote Wicked Child, I know you're holding out!

153. Fire Man (Mega Man Soccer)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6mx-4d2rMk

It's like they composed this by having someone explain the concept of Grease, the musical, to them, but they couldn't understand english and they were also underwater at the time. I am fully expecting Fire Man to dress up like a 50's greaser and come at me with a switchblade.

152. Acid Man (Mega Man 11)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U57riYrie74

I let this one slip by for as long as it did only because I do like the kind of groovy, sinister opening, which gives this one some much needed flavor. For like... forty seconds... then it devolves into the same old schtick that Mega Man 11 songs always do. Is there anything about this song's C section that would make it out of place in any other stage's theme? It's 2018 and you have any instrument at your disposal that you can think of - I don't know why this game is less clever about its instrumentation than games made nearly 30 years ago.

151. Grenade Man (Mega Man 8)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRlkVGcoY0w

I'm a little bit torn on what to make of this one, truth be told. What's the more appropriate word to use to describe the first 8 bars of the melody; "creative" or "off-kilter?" The melody has a sort of 'lurching' quality to it that makes me feel like I'm not really arriving at home until the C section at earliest. For a relatively low-key track (albeit energetic by MM8's standards) there's a lot going on here and it's all kind of happening without a whole lot of structure to it - the bass and percussion are just sorta doing their own thing, like a jam band. I can never really get a sense for this one.
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Janus5k
03/23/21 7:45:37 AM
#46:


Tag.

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WazzupGenius00
03/23/21 9:37:07 AM
#47:


Those first lines of Wily Tower 3 are also pretty similar to the melody of that Pizza Power song that was featured in Turtles in Time

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Toxtricity
03/23/21 11:50:52 AM
#48:


i love grenade man; i put it in my personal list of top 10 classic mm themes (and it's the first of those to drop), but i always remember it as more interesting than it actually is. and i'm not surprise it's potentially underwhelming to others.

like I just think of that intro (i'm a huge sucker for quartal runs/fourths-based tonality), and then i think of the 'epic moments' in the melody, but i never remember how it actually is strung together, which is a lot more underwhelming than the individual parts. like if you showed me any 10 second clip of the song i'd be like "THIS IS MY FAVORITE MEGAMAN SONG" but the way it flows together doesn't actually add up to the sum of it's parts or something. it feels weird to criticize one of my favorite songs in this series, but this is why even if its still one of my favorite classic mm themes, like 6-9 other tracks surpass it, even others within mm8
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Zigzagoon
03/23/21 11:54:08 AM
#49:


para I expect my numba 1 to make your top 10 ok?

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Toxtricity
03/23/21 12:11:24 PM
#50:


hmm another note just for fun, since you pointed out mm10's amazing gimmick with each track being by different composers (i didn't even know there was a composer guessing game leading up to it):
I always thought it was hilariously on target that my two favorites from that are Sheep Man and Chill Man because well...mm5 composer and mm8 composer haha. something i hadn't realized until long after mm5&8 had been solidified as fav osts for me, and long after chill/sheep man had been solidified mm10 favorites for me. was just such a mindblowing "of course it's those two" moment

strangely i never got as into blade man; despite it being Akari Kaida, and her being my favorite of the MMBN/Starforce composers (AND more relevant to this topic, certainly influential on my interest in mm&b's style). not sure why. I think maybe her style translates better to gba/ds/snes than nes limits or something? it makes sense since she's pretty chordy as why i like her, but you'd think those arps would be enough for selling it me, especially since she makes good use of similar techniques on mmbn.....though i'm listening to blade man more right now and it's growing on me. still hope it performs well!
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