ReMix: Mega Man 2 "Oxygen Flare" 4:05

By Quinn Fox

Arranging the music of 2 songs...

"Bubble Man Stage", "Flash Man Stage"

Primary Game: Mega Man 2 (Capcom, 1988, NES), music by Manami Matsumae, Takashi Tateishi

Posted 2005-03-16, evaluated by djpretzel


Quinn does Mega Man! Covering Mega Man is like a rite of passage... you've either done it, are planning on doing it some day, are always being asked to do it, etc. There's a lot of material in the blue bomber's repertoire, but there's no doubt that his second and third adventures are crowd favorites, perhaps for their consistently conspicuous, catchy melodies - you'll usually find at least one such track on most any Mega Man OST, but two and three are rock solid throughout, so to speak. Mr. Fox writes:

"This Mega Man 2 remix combines the Flash Man and Bubbleman themes in a dark, cosmic, synth enveloped manner; expect loud drums, lots of distortion, and more than a few creative liberties."

We like creative liberties. Q delivers on his promises, too, as there's walls of beefy guitar, loud but interesting percussion, a multitude of synths and synth fx mixed in, and even some choral bits at times. Production is edgier than Quinn's usual motif, and mixed louder too - sometimes with his older mixes you needed to pump the volume a bit, but I doubt that'll be necessary for most with this one. You've got rock and electronic drum kits sparring with one another, gurgling electronic textures, but I think my favorite aspect of the mix is how the themes have been intermingled and what Quinn's done with the progression - most of us have heard at least one if not both of these pieces covered a number of times, but this is definitely a fresh take. Actually, it doesn't sound much like any other Mega Man mix I've heard, which is a testament to the ReMixer's unique overall style. The melding of harder-core rock textures with both analog and digital electronica, and swapping out drum kits as well, is done fairly seamlessly, and everything sounds like it was meant to fit together. As far as liberties being taken goes - I feel they're the right type of liberties, throughout. The original material is easily identifiable, but emphasis/inflection is being placed on different aspects of it due to the changed context. I like the chopped/gated percussive effects, as they bring in a little urban attitude as just one more ingredient in a very diverse, interesting recipe. I'll probably always think of Quinn as a Phantasy Star guy, as few have covered it as often, but it's compelling to hear his style applied to Mega Man, and clearly his technique and approach are just as viable outside the Algol Star System. Groovy.

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
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tweex
on 2009-10-20 13:02:11

Very cool intro. Mysterious and sets the tone well. The rhythmic synth sounds really cool with it first comes in. The sound here is a strange (good strange) combination of the chilled vide you're known for, but with some very aggressive electro elements. The dynamic shifts, while drastic, still feel natural to me, in a strange way. The guitar crunch was a little much, but personal preference is what it is. The faster breakbeat section is very cool and very different from you're typical style. Guitar does end up covering a lot of frequency levels and starts to drown the choir and other elements out when it's going full blast. Very interesting mix of ambient/chill and aggressive pieces. Good job!

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OA
on 2009-04-01 15:52:00

Pretty cool intro and good sounds overall, but the lead seemed a little buried. Later on it's more audible. That synth guitar is no good, but otherwise i'm generally feeling everything. Nice transition to Bubble Man, and generally creative takes on all the themes, with pretty good transitions.

Drums I thought were a little on the loud side, but there was a lot of layering going on, and it was only in a few sections.

I think some of the textures were good, and the different sections presented everything in a good way.

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Marmiduke
on 2009-03-03 00:33:44

You choose to get a little creative and different with a score like Mega Man 2, you are going to get casualties of war. I mean, this is a radically altered rendition of the themes, and not in an expansive way either.

I enjoy the minimalist approach, even though I don't think the concept quite gels with the rapidfire chiptune flavour of Mega Man. So its not 100%, but then, what is?

I've come to realise I love pretty much any synth anyone can throw at me, so I enjoy most of those elements in this; the guitar however threw some of the balance off, especially with the chorus backing (even though it does sound nice). So I thought the first half was more successful than the last.

Overall, it's a black sheep among the more faithful, blue bomber melody extravaganzas, but it's also fun to listen to in its own right. I can see a lot of people's tastes rejecting this, but nevertheless it should be given a chance.

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K.B.
on 2008-12-02 21:48:32

My goodness I love this mix. It's just so... dirty. And so seductive, so impulsive. And, oh what's this, it looks like Sally Albright has something to add: "oh ah-ah oh... ah, oh, oh god, oh, yes! yes! yes! yes! yes! yes! ah! oh! oh yes! yes! yes! oh, yes! yes! yes! yes! yes! yes! oh! oh, oh... oh god... oh..."

...well then. I must concur, though this remix is most certainly the real deal.

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Bummer
on 2005-11-18 08:22:09

Quinn, you fox! Very cool, groovy remix, which also goes over to thrashing madness sometimes, but that´s cool.

Nice choice of synths and beats. Compared to he others, this Flash is more, floating if I may say. It´s like your in water and sinks down to the dark blue only to discover how beautifully the light from the surface reaches the very depths of your wet prison.

This remix makes me poetic, better finish this.

Great remix, mixes not only two great bosstracks but also two kinds of feelings: calm and rush.

Well done Fox.

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Lord Archimage Nykimbur
on 2005-06-30 08:57:12

Wow, I find it wonderful that you all find this an average megaman remix, and to me it's one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever heard. As I've said before, because of my visions, this remix represents very well so many things I can't explain. I downloaded this over half a year ago and I'm still listening to it, great work.

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MrBananaMan
on 2005-06-26 21:00:42

hey i know but it really is bothering that much. that one note ruins it for me.

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Liontamer
on 2005-06-26 17:23:54
Is there anyway to contact the maker of this or get a version with the original notes from flashman. It seems to be the original way at 28 seconds and then changes one of the notes right after that, but then at the big hit at 40 seconds the second note (5th if you count the pickups) that is played is not from the original, it is just a repeat of the 1st. This bugs the hell out of me. It stays like that for the rest of the song at the loud parts and I just cant stand it. PLease if anyone knows how I can contact the composer I would appreciate it.

Heh. That's a pretty naive request.

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MrBananaMan
on 2005-06-26 17:02:26

Is there anyway to contact the maker of this or get a version with the original notes from flashman. It seems to be the original way at 28 seconds and then changes one of the notes right after that, but then at the big hit at 40 seconds the second note (5th if you count the pickups) that is played is not from the original, it is just a repeat of the 1st. This bugs the hell out of me. It stays like that for the rest of the song at the loud parts and I just cant stand it. PLease if anyone knows how I can contact the composer I would appreciate it.

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Rexy
on 2005-06-25 18:22:49

I actually dig that synth; very clever texture work without being too dangerous to the ear. Heck, even much of the arrangement here is shown to be what I think is Quinn's best material. For the past year or so I've been exposed to a lot of his mixes as they came fresh from his pile, and so you can tell that I've actually grown comfortable to accept his creative arrangement style.

Having reviwed this at VGMix not too long ago I'll rope back the review I did over there for good measure.

Production setup

Often is the case, we associate Quinn with chilled electronica (plus some jazz elements from time to time), but it's here that he has taken his techniques and provided a more devious tension-based emotion range within the basic layout. The panning techniques have worked well for his cause, with equal amounts of drum space, instrument positions and textured sound to easily grant a lot of wonder towards the listener's imagination. The sounds have been given some more unique thoughts to processing and feel in comparison to his past works, and to match we have some strong EQs to grant a lot of realism towards the instrumentation when noted. The overall mastering is just as strong as we'd previously expect, and with enough thought given towards the faders and harmony balance, we are in for a very strong input taken for granted. If there's something I could critique on here I'd probably point on at the volume for some of the drones sticking out a little bit too much, but that's probably just being a nit-pick being held here. Nonetheless, the production aspects here are great, and have managed to work well to attract its well deserved audience.

Composition sequence

There's a nice string texture as brought into the introduction, an instant sign for showing that Quinn has managed to improve over his thoughts on the production setup when required. This is soon followed by elements of the chorus of Flash Man's theme being shown by 0:27, although only faintly in the background and some melodic variations being manipulated in comparison to the original. This is soon changed by a strong climatic use of drums by 0:41 and a straight interpretation of that same part of the theme, before the moods are steadily brought down once more by 0:55, being sure to be able to steadily reflect upon the stylistic approach as shown by this arranger. A bit of thought on the louder synth's note velocities could have been varied on the line, but otherwise this is a solid start so far.

1:08 then brought in a light change of synth texture to start showing upon the basic statuses around the arrangement, to better showcase some further thought towards the compositional focus. I have noticed references to Bubble Man's theme show at 1:14, before another break section managed to lead into the same energetic 0:41 Flash Man phase at 1:36. While this has worked, some elements of the drums may feel difficult to follow at first, but this is still shown to reveal some close familiarities with the themes when required.

1:50 showed signs of distorted synths, providing a dramatic break towards the listener's imagination when needed. And then at 2:02, a surprise is brought in by the doubling of the tempo, with the progressions showing in a similar progression as heard in his OCR exclusive "Umaro Uematsu". Another hidden reference is then shown linking towards Flash Man's theme at 2:16, and even though the basic status of it doesn't deviate too much in comparison to what was used at 0:41, this has still worked well enough to keep the audience's attention at a firm status.

At 2:30 there's a light synth build that has emphasized on equal amounts of bass and treble frequencies that show a stronger resemblance to elements of the soundtracks for the Ratchet Clank series rather than Mega Man... Or at least that's what I think. ^_^; This is soon lead into a closer reference to Bubble Man by 2:44, and with some strong thought on synth expression this has managed to work well to steadily show some further passion towards the listener. The arrival of the drum sequence at 2:58 felt to be a little bit on the sudden side, but aside from that light aspect the audience has been brought into one of the more interesting breaks as provided by this arranger.

3:12 marked the return for the tense distortion status as shown at 1:50, as well as a light reference to Flash Man's theme again, all before a rendition of the 0:41 segment at 3:32. Again I feel as if some variance from that section could have been needed to further bring in some variance towards the theme in general. But all this has been made out by a very light ending scenario as shown by some further synth processing and closing techniques to steadily wind down the atmosphere and satisfy its audience. Although the transition from the major drum use could have been smoother, this is seen to be one of the more solid finales seen from this arranger.

So yeah, that may not have been one of my most serious of writeups, but that honestly showed how excited I was over the whole thing. In terms of arrangement concept and production polish I actually found it to be one of his better works as well as being somewhat daring in comparison to the similar stylistic approaches of his prior works (which were mainly adapted from "Boss Uniform"). And for that, I digged a lot of it. However I don't know if it was me or not but I thought I sensed a clip at around 2:37? Or it may have been the way I downloaded it. That isn't seen as a big issue if that was the case. I did have some light qualms over some of the drum execution, especially when going into the second variation on Flash Man, but I grew used to it as well as most elements of a liberal nature.

That said, I feel that this ranks high as Quinn's best release to date, for a high number of reasons. I hope he comes by to bring in more good stuff... maybe Solace in Second just to shut Liontamer up. ;)

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Nobbynob Littlun
on 2005-04-18 05:34:39

Good stuff. I love the way it swells and then goes quiet, swells, quiet. However, I REALLY gotta say I don't like that high pitched lead synth that is all throughout the song, in the swelling parts. Everything else

1:56 and 2:03 and 2:44, the cymbal is awesome. Best part of the song. It's like a cross between a cymbal and a gong. Oh snap, as it were. I just love that, I keep rewinding to hear it again =)

Nice chorus thingies, very Metroidish. Maybe you could do a remix of that one song in Metroid Prime (the first one), early in game, where you are on a platform in a toxic pool and there is a machine that releases these super-fast war wasps that circle you? Yeah. That'd be cool.

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DriftingTrigger
on 2005-03-26 07:01:33

I like it alot. Not too sure why. probably becuase it mixed 2 of my favorite songs of all time together.

But it seemed like the main parts of each song were....kinda left out. There were a few of the basic ones. But I was expecting alittle more than that. I could definitly make out some of it. But there were a few parts I was hoping to hear, that I didn't get too.

Oh well. Its still a good remix.

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Brak
on 2005-03-23 11:38:48

At around 2:33 it sounds like something from super metroid. I don't remember the name or place of the song, though I'm sure someone here recognizes what I'm hearing.

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RimFrost the Tourianist
on 2005-03-22 21:30:52

Spaced out and bombastic mix here.

MM2 is such a wonderous game in terms of music potential..

Excellent Work, Quinn Fox 8)

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Brim
on 2005-03-18 22:51:32

Definitely another great remix under Quinn's belt. It fuses two great tracks together into one ultimately relaxing mix that just suits my default mood (chillout).

Sources Arranged (2 Songs)


Primary Game:
Mega Man 2 (Capcom, 1988, NES)
Music by Manami Matsumae, Takashi Tateishi
Songs:
"Bubble Man Stage"
"Flash Man Stage"

Tags (2)


Genre:
Mood:
Instrumentation:
Electronic, Synth
Additional:

File Information


Name:
Mega_Man_2_Oxygen_Flare_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
4,993,056 bytes
MD5:
ba32781ccc5a422fb1b00fdc53dcd22f
Bitrate:
160Kbps
Duration:
4:05

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