So, I have some more substantial posts coming up, but I need to get a few more things in mind prior to writing them. But let me say this, if you are a fan of film/tv scoring and you’re NOT watching Battlestar Galactica, well, then you need to get your butt in gear. Last night’s episode, “Someone to Watch Over Me,” reminded me again why I seriously want to write a book, if not my dissertation, on the show’s music. Anyway, that is to come. Also, I will also be writing a post based on the paper I will be giving at the American Musicological Society, Rocky Mountain Chapter Meeting on 18 April. It’s on aural structures in Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon. Anyway, just a preview of the Shape of Things to Come.
Anyway, on to part II of 2 of my YouTube series. One of the most popular things to post on YouTube are videos of video games. High scores, fast runs through an entire game (like 10 minutes to beat Super Mario Bros. 3) or performances of songs in Guitar Hero. But another subset are videos of video game music. Either fans performing them, remixes, etc. There are even entire series of videos devoted to game music. For today’s video based installment of ‘The Temp Track,’ I give you Mega Man III.
I’m choosing this game because of a recent flurry of comments on Facebook between me and an old high school friend where we were debating the merits of Mega Man games, specifically II vs. III. The theme to MMIII is, in my opinion, one of the best game themes ever written. Judge for yourself:
I love the slow, kinda jazzy intro that leads into the more rocking main section that will loop for as long as you want, until you eventually start a game.
So from this beginning, let us explore YouTube. First up is from the series “The Music of Video Games.” This series is pretty simple: various tracks from the game set against game footage. From the users page, it looks like there are at least 450 entries in the series. I must say, as a researcher, it would prove to be a great resource for game music. Especially since it seems like the poster has done research already on composers. Mega Man III is entry 34 in the series.
Next up is a video of a rock band playing the music. For those of you not steeped in geek culture, there are actual bands who perform game music. Guess it’s part of the 80s retro cool thing, but really, it’s all nostalgia. As my generation, the Nintendo generation, gets older, we yearn for those things from childhood that remind us that things were not always so complicated. Ya, nothing new here, but the fact that we’ve latched onto Nintendo music as a reminder is something that I find fascinating. This is the band “The Advantage” playing at a video game convention. They actually go on for over 7 minutes…feel free to not watch the whole thing. Though a few minutes before the end they fade out to almost nothing and then build it all back up. Kinda cool.
There are also many people who just tape themselves playing music at the piano and what not, so here is a guitar version and piano version:
Next, and finally, are two videos from YouTube user brentalfloss. This man is some sort of crazed genius of YouTube and video game music. Check out his videos here sometime. The first video is a fully orchestrated midi he did…he tells you all about it in the video:
Secondly is part of his “With Lyrics” series where he takes vg music and puts lyrics to it. This is the extended version of his Mega Man III theme with lyrics. Warning, the second half of this video is not Work Safe:
Also, in the “With Lyrics” series, check out the Tetris theme version. Also his Gregorian Chant version of the Mario Bros. theme is interesting, though I don’t think that it is technically chant.
So, I’ve overloaded you with Mega Man III music so I’ll leave you with a video that has other music with it. This is brentalfloss’s version of Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World called, what else, Super Mario World.