Sunday, May 12, 2013

TOP Track #20 - "Wily Stage 1"

I've really liked Mega Man and his video games since their debut when I was 8 years old. I certainly hadn't build up the endurance, mental fortitude or expert ninja skills to beat any of the original NES Mega Man games until I was legally an adult, though. Among Mega Man games, Mega Man 2 is my favorite. I love the Robot Masters and all the music is amazing. The Mega Man series is one of the first among video games to really put the extra effort into its music tracks. There are a handful of great songs in each game, but Mega Man 2 really nails it. Of all the songs on that great soundtrack, "Wily Stage 1" is by far my favorite. 

When I hear "Wily Stage 1" in its original form, even compared to modern video game music, I feel a huge rush of energy. This is the first stage on your way to the final boss, after defeating all his robot minions. You've come so far, but still have so many more hair-pulling jump puzzles to go. This song really makes me feel like I'm storming the gates at full force. It all comes down to this final fortress. I'm coming for you, Wily. 


I love Mega Man. He's the bee's knees. He revolutionized platform gaming and the concept of upgrading in early video games. The level designs were challenging and fun (alternative opinion: impossible and maddening). I was a big fan of the games, despite my shortcomings. The only Mega Man title I made decent progress in was surprisingly for the Gameboy. I'm not sure if TOP neglected to tell me, or if I failed to listen, but I had NO IDEA about the additional weapons. I would use the Mega Buster against every single Robot Master I faced (Note: "impossible and maddening" above). Nevertheless, I trudged through each game I was lucky enough to play, undeterred. 

This is one of those instances where I'm glad they put the best music in the first Dr. Wily stage, since I would die over and over again between that point and the final boss. It was a small consolation for the frustration I had to endure. The track was composed by Tateishi Takashi (credited and more popularly known as Ogeretsu Kun), and I think this is the best song on the Mega Man 2 soundtrack, which was great overall. Despite his great work on the Mega Man franchise in the early days (as well as contribution to the latest installment, Mega Man 10), his portfolio is relatively small. Perhaps he cashed all of his chips in on this game.

Regardless, this is a timeless classic, evidenced by the plethora of remixes you can find all over the net. My personal favorite is PowerGlove's rendition on Total Pwnage. The suspenseful climax makes every cell in my body explode with invigoration! Springtime of youth, and whatnot! 

- Deez

Derivative Tracks

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