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Phils Game/Pop Music Similarities #93 - Gamma Thrash


Featuring Mega Man 3, Metal and Classic.

Greetings fellow game music lovers,

with Mega Man 3 about to end it appeared appropriate for me to save one certain song for last: The jingle that is commonly known as Wily stage boss theme or "Gamma theme" (the latter who despite its size seems to have seriously problems with torque).

The jingle occurs in several instances throughout the game, mostly the final Wily stage music and the boss and final boss music:

Now its difficult to point towards a single source for this jingle because music of its type has appeared in different forms throughout history, mostly in the genres that want to give an impression of "spookyness". So I will reduce this to the minimal necessary amount to make my point:

The first finding is in the song "The Sleep" by Thrash Metal band Pantera from their 1990s album "Cowboys From Hell". The album was released two months before Mega Man 3 which is pretty close to have served as direct inspiration (on the other hand, with classic Megamans ridiculously short development times that could be merely months, who knows). It was recorded since 1989, so a reverse influence is unlikely:

Note: According to my experience, it is likely this is a Thrash Metal staple. I heard songs like this before, but this was before I started collecting music for this purpose. If I find them again, I will post them here.

Then we have the song "Living Forest" from another video game that just happened to have been released just a few months earlier, "Final Fantasy 3" from everyone's favourite VG composer Nobuo Uematsu:

Many people suspect this to the source of the Kuja theme from Final Fantasy 9.

Going to the classic realm. Here we have a section from Victor Ewalds "Quintet No. 3 for Brass" (1912):

Finally we have Camille Saint-Saëns "Aquarium" from his Carnival of the Animals suite (1886):

Conclusion: I think the sample went from classic music to metal as it often happens.


Honorable mentions:

1) Blue Misty Rain, a song by Akina Nakamori from 1984 that has the following section:

2) A jingle from Vaughan Williams "Sinfonia Antarctica" (1952) that has a jingle similar in structure to the Gamma jingle:

Another note: I think the screeching descending scale at the beginning of the Wily stage boss is another metal-common sample:

Exodus - Like Father Like Son (1989):

Dark Angle - The Death of Innocence (1989):

Next sunday some cleanup before we move on to some more Megaman games.

Phil out.

Update 29/08/2020:

A challenger has appeared. From the "Fortune Plango Vulnera" section of Carl Orffs "Carmina Burana" (1935/36):

- https://www.destructoid.com/blogs/PhilsPhindings/ https://www.reddit.com/user/PhilsPhindings

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About PhilsPhindingsone of us since 5:50 PM on 01.21.2019