The Mega Man series has some pretty awesome music, in all the series combined. So far, I only have played 2 games, and were both from the classic series: Mega Man: The Power Battle and Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters. Even though the music was only remixes of the originals, I still find them pretty enjoyable. But, that's not why I'm here. I'm here to present my personal favorite Stage Select soundtracks from Mega Man 1 to Mega Man 10, not including Mega Man and Bass or the Game Boy titles. Are you ready? "Fall in, soldiers!" Equip your weapons and grab your E-Tanks, because here... we... GO!
(Just an FYI, I would be TOTALLY following the beat of all of the songs on this list... save for #10.)
#10: Mega Man 1
I'm just gonna be honest here: I don't really like this Stage Select music. There's just one word to describe it: REPETITIVE. The same loop just plays over...and over... and OVER again until you select a Robot Master, or Dr. Wily. To make matters worse, there's no sort of percussion in the song! I mean, that just makes it WORSE! Come on, we need a beat! Now, I'm not saying it's bad, it's just that I've heard better, like the Mega Man: Powered Up version (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt2gcRhHr70). That version basically blows the original out of the water. I love how it uses modern instruments and makes a repetitve stage select like the original sound SO much better! Out of these 2, Powered Up easily takes the cake.
Well, with that one out of the way, it's on to #9...
#9: Mega Man 4Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sp1xzNEDMB0
I'm not a big fan of this one either, but... at least it has SOME percussion, unlike Mega Man 1's. To me, it's sounds like the world is under attack, which it's supposed to sound like. The bass that accompanies the melody sounds a BIT high for me, but it's an NES! It's always going to be that way! Nothing's wrong with it, but just like I said before with #10, I've heard better. Take the Complete Works version (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zerIh7vC_vM), for example. Now that version, in my opinion, knocks the original down for the count. It sounds more like the world is under attack than ever before, and NOBODY can stop it... not even Mega Man himself. This also sounds like something you would hear if there was a "BREAKING NEWS" broadcast and this would be playing in the background, while the original is just... well, you know... there. It's just there.
All in all, it's an OK stage select, but not as good as the others on this list. Anyways, let's make our way to #8...
#8: Mega Man 9
Alright, onto #7...
#7: Mega Man 5Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x70HooydnTc
While it may not have some of the best Robot Masters in the series (Yeah, I'm looking at YOU, Stone Man) or weapons, it sure has one good thing: I'm talking about the music! This Stage Select easily describes how it's time to kick some more Robot butt, for the 5th time! But you're not alone. Dr. Cossack (Mega Man 4's antagonist) has built Beat, a robotic bird for his apologies in the previous game, and he can REALLY help you on some of the later bosses. But back to the music. This theme is actually remixed for another game in the series, or... at least it sounds like it (see #2 if willing to skip ahead). 8 new Robot Masters, 8 new stages, 8 new weapons, they're all here! This theme is like it's saying, "Hey, you! Yeah, you! Come get some of us!" It really gives you that feeling.
The Complete Works version (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-uvkK9e4w0) just sounds like complete CRAP in my opinion. I mean, I get you're trying to make the soundtrack full (er) with better instruments, but THIS, OMG, is just AWFUL! I'd rather listen to Mega Man 1s stage select than THIS! No, I didn't stutter! Mega Man 1's theme is better than Mega Man 5s Complete Works! That's the only factor that brings it down!
Whew... that's alot to talk about! Anyways... it's time for #6...
#6: Mega Man 6
WHAT?! The Mega Man 6 stage select, AT #6?! Wow, talk about a coincidence!
Anyways, this theme really gives you the feeling that everything is just falling around you. It really makes you experience what Mega Man has been going through over the past 6 games. You know the drill: Take down the Robot Masters and defeat Dr. Wi -- er, I mean Mr. X. But onto the theme itself: It's very energetic, and it just powers you up inside, like you're ready to fight once again! "Bring it on! Show me your moves!" That's what I think Mega Man feels like whenever he fights ANY of these Robot Masters on this list. It's just so... awesome.
Now onto the Complete Works (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peds98Hr2pQ).
Did I say "Complete Works?"
I meant to say the Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters version.
Okay, I know the Power Fighters version is also used in the Complete Works, but I was just fooling around. This HAS to be the better version: It sounds like the Masters REALLY took it up a notch, and they TRULY want to kick your butt this time! With better instruments, a fuller sound, and overall quality, this version is better than the original NES version! I just LOVE it!
Wow, so much to say! Now, "Forward, MARCH!" to #5...
#5: Mega Man 3Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eE-VRHKCBk
Now this is what I call a memorable game! The debut of Rush and Proto Man, epic Robot Masters (especially Shadow Man), the new Slide ability, and, most of all, AMAZING music! I have to say, this Stage Select theme has to belong in the Top 5 of this list. The feel that it gives you: Alright, time to do this again! Time to kick Robot butt! I totally think this has to be one of the best soundtracks for an NES game! It just sounds amazing!
Now, this theme has not just had one, but TWO remixes! We'll be looking at both for this, starting with the CPS1 version in Mega Man: The Power Battle (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xwx4G4aqe8): While I may not like this version as much as the original and the CPS2/Complete Works combined, I must say this is a great sounding remix for the CPS1's instruments. I just love how Capcom takes the original song and just makes it sound BETTER! Great remix, but it's not my total favorite...
That honor belongs to the CPS2/Complete Works version (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_OvwBgfmc0). In my opinion, this is the best version out of all 3. The fullness of every instrument really brings out the music, especially parts I haven't heard in the original on the NES. Plus, SLAP BASS! What could go wrong with slappin' da bass?! But there's one SLIGHT thing that brings it up just a touch, and it's quite amusing: the use of xylophone as the melody! Hold up, it's also used as one of the background instruments, too! I guess that Yasuaki and Harumi Fujita (sorry if I messed up your names) really liked the sound of it!
Overall, this is a great song in all 3 versions, and I would LOVE to see a mashup of all 3 sometime in the future!
"Present, ARMS!" #4 is coming our way...
#4: Mega Man 2Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XLHvUgrZRg
Now, these last 4 are going to be tough to choose from, but this is how they came out to me. But this one stuck out to me when listening to this game's OST. This is highly regarded as one of the best Mega Man games, and it truly is, but I love a couple things: (1) Metal Man killed by his own weapon (Metal Blade), (2) My favorite Robot Master, Quick Man, makes his debut here, and (3) The AMAZING MUSIC (especially this, the boss theme, and Wily Fortress 1)! Now, what do I love about this theme? The melody really gives you that panic feel like Wily's coming back, and the world is truly under attack. It makes you want to hurry up and defeat all the robots before it's too late.
Now, just like Mega Man 3, this theme had both CPS1 and CPS2/Complete Works remakes. Let's start with the CPS1 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6K991RxrYvE):
This remake isn't really that bad, to be honest! Actually, it sounds pretty good! Just like Mega Man 3's, there were certain instruments that I couldn't hear in the original on the NES, and this version really brings them out! But, it's a bit laid back in tempo and feel, compared to the original. While the original gave you that "HURRY UP! Dr. Wily's on his way!" feeling, this version gives you the "So, he's back, huh? Time to kick some more butt, Mega style!" feel running through you. That's pretty much all I can say about this version, however.
In the scenario for the CPS2/Complete Works version (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJD_rGCiRS4), this version basically feels the same, similar to the CPS1 version. There basically isn't much to say about this version either, the only difference being new instruments.
All in all, it's a good stage select theme, there's just not much to say about it.
"At ease, soldiers." We've come a LONG way, and it's time to find out which theme earns the silver, gold, or bronze out of Mega Man 7, Mega Man 8, or Mega Man 10. This has been some tough decision-making, and I believe these have to be some of my favorites in the classic series. Without further interruptions, coming in 3rd place is...
#3: Mega Man 10Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bh9_Pvi1uvU
I have a story to share about this theme:
Like Mega Man 9, I played the trial version in the mountains alongside my childhood friend Tyler, and I must say, we played this more over 9! Well, one thing's for sure, I had an easier time with Strike Man (generally because I played on the Easy difficulty). But this Stage Select theme got us moving! Whenever I wasn't wanting to speed-run Strike Man's stage, we were moving the cursor to the music and just bobbing our heads. It's just that awesome!
For the 10th entry in the series, I must say this is a good song for a Select screen! There really isn't much to say about the instruments, but this easily has to be my favorite 8-bit theme in the Classic series, if we were counting just Mega Man 1-6, 9, and 10. But... this is ALL the Classic games we're talking about, so this comes at #3.
Only two games now remain and are battling for the gold on this list: Mega Man 7 and Mega Man 8. This had to be one of the toughest decisions I ever made when it came to this blog. If I could have a tie for 1st place, I would, but... as with all competitons, there can only be 1 winner. Therefore, coming in an EXTREMELY CLOSE 2nd place is........
#2: Mega Man 7
Wow... just... wow. Even I was surprised by this!
I gotta admit, for being the only 16-bit game in the series (Excluding Mega Man: The Power Battle or Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters, because I don't know what THEY run on. But then again, they could be 16-bit, since most of the characters look the same from the SNES), this is one impressive theme! Unlike the past 6 games, the SNES has more instruments and better sound quality, thus creating a greater musical palette for Capcom to experiment with when creating this game's music. And I must say, they went "To infinity and BEYOND!" with this. This has to be my favorite song in the soundtrack, rivaling that of Bass' theme, Wily Fortress 2-3, Slash Man's stage, and others. But, let's not get too far ahead.
Let's talk instrumentation:
Starting off, we have the melody and harmony. And I must comment: It's AWESOME! During certain parts of the song... you can hear it, and it fits very well with the backup instruments and the upbeat feel of this song. It's very well played out, and gives the song the extra epicness it needs... and then some. Now for the backing track: the bass, drums, and... well, I don't know what the other instrument is supposed to be, but I think it's strings...? I honestly have NO clue whatsoever, but please... maybe Yuko Takehara, Toshihiko Horiyama, and Makoto Tomozawa (again, sorry if I screwed up any of those names) would know. But anyway, the Bass adds a funky feel and gives it that urge to move your head, or the cursor, to the music. It compsenates in a rather friendly manner for the Treble as well.
(I just HAD to make a reference to Bass & Treble. This is the game they debuted in!)
And the drums, I feel sort of a modern rock-ish beat. Altogether, it sounds... shockingly familiar. It sounds like Mega Man 5's Stage Select in terms of musical notation for all the instruments (save for the string-like one), and Proto Man's fortress for the chord progression (E and D chords) all in one song, but 16-bit! Very creative, I must say!
Again, like Mega Man 2 and 3, this song has remixes for both soundtracks in Mega Man: The Power Battle. Just like before, let's start with the CPS1 version (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLhS4DsUZGs). This version, in my opinion, sounds like it was bass boosted way to the extreme, making the overall quality sound... poor. I get that there isn't much to experiment with, and the soundtrack is supposed to sound bassy, but the huge amount of it just totally ruins the original. I can hear the melody, but it's just... not as loud, and it sounds like the strings (synth in this game) and bass just cover it. This has to be my least favorite version of this theme. The original takes 2nd place... so other version takes the cake? If you guessed CPS2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLwLw5YOaXw), then...
YOU GOT: A+
Unlike the original and CPS1 version, this uses a different chord progression. Instead of using E and D, this uses the chords of C# (Db) and B, to give it a feel like their attacking during the night. And this time, it IS strings in the
background of the song, and they fit very well, I must add. Due to the CPS2 having different instruments, every song is different from it CPS1 counterpart. For starters, the bass isn't so loud, and I can hear the melody alot better, so that's a plus. Also, the melody is probably my favorite part of this theme, it just sounds amazing! I think I can hear some instruments from the Mega Man X series, because the melody instrument is a GUITAR! The bass sounds awesome, because it's a slap bass once again! Yeah, that's 2 songs in the CPS2 where there's a slap bass in the song. And the drums sound better in this version than the original and CPS1 combined! With all these instruments to play around and experiment with, this is definitely my favorite version of the song!
It'd be kinda hard to do a mashup of this song, since the CPS2 is in a different key than the original/CPS1, but if someone can do that... I'd greatly appreciate it! Overall, this is one heck of a song, so good that it easily takes 2nd on this list. Again, if I could have a tie for first, I would, but, there can only one victor. So, which theme takes #1 and the gold in this competition?
"ATTENTION!" The winner is none other than..........
#1: Mega Man 8
Oh man, I LOVE this theme so much! Although this game may not be the BEST in the series because of a few things (voice acting), I have to admit: this game has a great soundtrack! All the music in the game just sounds so... relaxing, especially this theme! This song is perfect for helping me relax after a long week at school, when it comes to a Friday! There really isn't much to say about the song itself, but I love it's chilled out feel it gives you while choosing a stage. It's just perfect to hear this after you FINALLY got past a tough or annoying Robot Master stage (Yeah, I'm looking at YOU, Aqua and Frost Man!).
Now, why do I love it, besides the fact that it's so relaxing? Well, one of the reasons is I feel like this could be good music for a flashback of some sort. You see, I've been working on a play entitled "True Love's Challenge" throughout my freshman year of high school. The sequel, "True Love's Challenge 2: The Battle for Freedom," (which I'll has the narrator summarize the events of the first play, with this music in the background. Here's what he/she says during those few moments:
"A few months after the Power Rangers defeated Johnathan once and for all and his expulsion from South Doyle High School, our heroes return to their normal lives once more, and it seems like peace has returned to not just the school, but the entire city of Knoxville. However, in the year 20XX, a new threat is arising. Their plan? Change the past to re-create the future, where evil reigns! In order to make this goal a success, Dr. Wily sends several Robot Masters to attack countries all across the globe, starting in the United States. With the help of their allies Mega Man and Sonic the Hedgehog, can our heroes save the world, or will they fall into the hands of darkness...FOREVER?"
I find that it this probably the best Stage Select in the entire classic series, and if I was counting Mega Man X1 in here as well, this would definitely tie with Mega Man 7 and Mega Man X1 for 1st place. Yeah, that's right, a 3-WAY TIE! That's how much I love this theme.
I appreciate the time for you to read this blog. Feel free to comment and tell me what's your favorite Stage Select from the CLASSIC Mega Man series and why. And... sorry for all the military commands. I've been watching too much ROTC on YouTube. I'm not in it, I'm just interested by it. Oh, and before I go, I must say: I found an AMAZING guitarist on YouTube that does awesome guitar covers of Mega Man games! So far, this artist is covering Mega Man 2 and Mega Man 9 on his channel. His name is Krzysztof Słowikowski, and although he's from Poland, his covers will make you want to bang your head and shred that air-guitar! Feel free to check him out and support him! He would greatly appreciate it! You can find his YouTube channel here:
Now, I'll make my way out. Peace... and good day.