Mega Man 2’s OST spiced up with Castlevania III’s audio chip

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[Dtoid alumn megaStryke likes Mega Man more than anyone else in the world. Shh, don’t tell Chris Carter! –Mr Andy Dixon]

Come back in time with me for a minute!

Almost two years ago to the day, I shared a fan arrange album called Mega Man 3 Remade. Produced by chiptune artist RushJet1, it was exactly as the title said: the entire Mega Man 3 soundtrack completely remade from scratch. The hook is that not only are the files playable on NES hardware, they also employed the VRC6, an audio chip manufactured by Konami for use in a small handful of titles, namely the Japanese release of Castlevania III, that expanded the available sound channels from five to eight.

But RushJet1 didn’t simply stick to the same melodies; he punched them up with his signature style, adding entirely original breakdowns or switching up tempos. The results were both familiar and foreign — I admit there were a few misses — but from the responses to my post, a lot of you really dug the project as a whole.

The album was followed up last year with Mega Man Remade, a reimagining of (duh!) the inaugural installment in the franchise. Sadly, I had already departed Destructoid by then, so I couldn’t spread the good news with my soul brothers and sisters. I swore that I wouldn’t let such an injustice happen again!

Which brings us to the present and, indubitably, Mega Man 2 Remade. RushJet1 totally Mementoed his way through the original trilogy, but who are we to question his creative process? Anyway, each successive album exhibited a noticeable leap in quality from the one before, trimming the fat and other less savory elements. And that’s just dandy, because doing justice to the legendary tunes of Mega Man 2, which have been covered and remixed to death, demands your “A” game.

MM2 Remade sticks fairly close to the original soundtrack, with smart little embellishments here and there to avoid overwhelming listeners with excessive production. But once we move into the Wily levels, that’s when the creative juices kicked into overdrive. I especially appreciate how sensibly RushJet1 handled his “Dr. Wily Stage 1” treatment — side note, he finds the original track to be quite overrated and overplayed.

The one thing I’m disappointed with is the complete lack of references to the Game Boy Mega Man II soundtrack. MM3 Remade gave a brief nod by replacing one of the Wily level themes with the Wily track from GB MM3. However, MM1 Remade went the whole hog and mashed both soundtracks together — NES MM1 lacked title screen music, but the GB version didn’t! Listen to how the NES Fire Man theme, instead of looping, transitions into the subtly different one from GB! And I absolutely adore what he did with the Enker theme!

Now, don’t get me wrong, Game Boy Mega Man II is kinda garbage, and the soundtrack suffered from poor instrumentation and pitch choices. Nonetheless, the music had some solid melodies that would have worked well under a different sound engineer’s direction. I would have liked to have heard RushJet1’s take on those.

But I’ve rambled on for far too long. Don’t you want to download this hot and ready joint? There’s also that video above, in which the remade OST was synced up with a MM2 playthrough. If you don’t love it, I promise to shave my head.

Also, if you’d like to check out more of RushJet1’s chiptune arrangements and covers, check out this compilation he released earlier this year. Let me leave you with this tasty tease: Mega Man x DuckTales! Eh? Tasty cakes! Am I right?

Tony Ponce